- Thousands of highly skilled mothers are quitting the workplace because employers are failing to help them juggle work and family life
- New recruitment concept tackles the issue head-on
Two thirds of mothers (67%) have felt they had no choice but to leave a job because working arrangements didn’t enable them to integrate their family life as they would like to, new research reveals.
A survey of almost 1,500 mothers looking for skilled and senior part-time roles reveals the risks and missed opportunities to UK’s businesses of ignoring this demographic of highly-motivated, talented workers:
- 91% don’t feel confident that there are plenty of employers in their area offering flexible and part-time jobs
- 86% can be flexible with the days/hours worked, 77% will attend to urgent matters out of hours and 58% are willing to work in the evenings – suggesting that mothers on flexible contracts could be more flexible and dedicated than the average full-time employee
- Shorter hours are not always permanent – 83% are prepared to consider increased hours in the future, once their children are older or their circumstances change
A new concept in the recruitment market called 2to3days is tackling this issue head-on. Founded by mother and former property surveyor, Juliet Turnbull, who realised that traditional recruitment methods were not reaching this skilled workforce, 2to3days has created an active and connected community of mothers and progressive businesses to challenge the status-quo.
Juliet Turnbull says:
“Sadly up until now the huge wealth of highly skilled mothers who are keen to re-join the workforce has fallen through the recruitment ‘gap’. Traditional recruitment methods are not reaching them. I wanted to change that and to create a live community that harnesses the power of connections both between mothers and between businesses that are crying out for talented employees.”
2to3days is revolutionising the recruitment industry with its rallying cry to “join the ‘hood” – a shared interest community of 28,000 members committed to matching mothers with stimulating, flexible roles. This often ‘overlooked’ workforce offers companies a wealth of knowledge and experience, at a fraction of the cost of traditional recruitment methods. It enables mothers keen to return to work the opportunity to meaningfully contribute without sacrificing their family life.
With 91% of mothers surveyed saying they don’t feel confident that there are plenty of employers in their area offering flexible and part-time jobs, 2to3days calls on employers to break the mould and consider more atypical contracts that will attract loyal, dedicated and skilled working mothers.
London Stock Exchange Group’s (LSEG) Group Head of Programme Management Sasha Jory believes that being able to attract people with a diverse range of experiences, backgrounds, and working requirements makes for a better performing team:
“If people feel they can achieve the work-life balance they want, you get a lot more focus and a happier team.”
Jory has two children herself, and feels she is able to achieve the work-life balance she wants by having flexible hours:
“I’ve chosen to work from 7am to 4pm every day so that I can see my kids in the evenings. A lot of my colleagues don’t even know that I leave at 4pm – they simply judge me on my delivery and performance rather than by how many hours I sit behind a desk.”
Sasha is convinced of the business benefits of optionality when hiring people.
“I see opportunities to provide flexible roles as a good way to retain staff but also to attract great people who may otherwise have gone elsewhere.”
2to3days founder Juliet says:
“Working culture is changing and employees are demanding work-life integration rather than balance. Aided by the technology revolution and necessitated by campaigns for equal pay, bigger companies are being forced to think outside the box. A brilliant labour force lies right under their noses if they will consider the benefits of higher productivity through flexibility – a highly experienced brain on a pro rata salary. We’re helping to create diverse staff teams that reflect real life and we’re enabling talented mothers to reach their full potential both in their careers and at home. 2to3days is a business solution connecting brilliant talent with fulfilling and accommodating senior positions.”
It is clear that employers are missing out on valuable members of their workforce by continuing to neglect alternative working patterns – 39% of mothers interviewed don’t need to work but want to, with the majority citing mental stimulation and high levels of motivation behind their desire to do so.
Of the almost 1,500 mothers surveyed, 86% can be flexible with the days/hours worked and 77% will attend to urgent matters out of hours suggesting that mothers on flexible contracts could, in fact, be more flexible and dedicated than the average full-time employee. It also highlights the fact that shorter hours are not always permanent, with 83% prepared to consider an increase in the future, once their children are older or their circumstances change.
The research found that a contracted 3-days-per-week role works best for employers and employees – enabling mothers to adapt their hours around their families, whilst still being able to contribute meaningfully to work.
Nationwide’s Director of Resourcing, Katrina Hutchinson-O’Neill is a massive supporter of flexible working:
“I have three small children and a successful career. Until you have children yourself, it’s difficult to understand the level of capability required to juggle work and parenting. You build up huge amounts of resilience and strength, which are very attractive qualities for an employer.”
“When you allow people to work their way, they feel that their needs are being met, and they definitely put more effort and energy into the job. Flexible working options make us much more successful as a team and as a business.”
Her message to employers still sceptical about considering flexible contracts is clear:
“The world of work is changing, and expectations of high performing employees are changing. You risk cutting yourself off from really interesting hires if you’re not willing to consider atypical working patterns, and your business could be missing out.”
Chair of Volcano Coffee Works, Emma Loisel, runs her UK business remotely from New Zealand and tapped into 2to3days’ skilled community of mothers in her search for a Financial Director. She believes that getting mothers back into the workforce has not been properly addressed, and businesses are missing out as a result:
“Through employing a senior woman on a flexible basis an employer gains an experienced, highly skilled, talented and loyal member of the team at a lower cost than employing a full-time person, with perhaps 7 or 10 fewer years’ experience. The total spend on headcount is considerably less than a full-time position, but better value to the business.”
Describing her experience using 2to3days, she said:
“The calibre of candidates was remarkable. It was higher than anything I’d seen through traditional recruitment agencies. I had fewer candidates to look at, but at a much higher standard so it was like receiving a shortlist immediately.”
With the benefits of hiring experienced mothers into senior positions being made patently clear, 2to3days is now calling on forward-thinking employers to tap into their network of highly skilled mothers and pledge their support of a new future for flexible contracts.
Companies using 2to3days to fill senior positions include Nationwide, CBI, Santander, Arriva, sofa.com as well as companies in travel, tech, marketing and recruitment such as Scott Dunn, ThoughtWorks, Black Sun, Hudson, Momentum Worldwide, Sheila King International, Harper Dennis Hobbs, Edison Investment and start-ups including My Tutor and Mum & You.