If you’re returning to work in 2015 after maternity leave you might be understandably worried about the prospect of juggling work and your new life at home. Hopefully help is at hand! Last year working mum Anna Rasmussen launched a research project called Keeping Women In. Anna asked 250 high potential working mothers to tell us about their lives inside and outside of work. She specifically asked the women what they needed their employers to do to support them to reach their full career potential after having kids. The results of Anna’s research are based on the concept of achieving an acceptable work / life blend.
Her research is full of simple, effective tips for businesses (and bosses) to support working mothers. You can download a free summary report and also watch this short video
One of the key findings of Keeping Women In was that 80% of the potential solutions to help support working mothers relate to leaders and individual bosses. Just 20% relate to the wider business. Here are some examples of top tips for both:
Tips for leaders managing working mothers:
- Openly talk to your working mothers about their home lives and discuss any specific challenges they face eg. childcare, school holidays, current workload and working in the evenings
- Set clear objectives and career plans
- Recognise merit and contribution over presenteeism
- Acknowledge hours worked outside of the office and provide recognition
- Openly communicate career opportunities and provide encouragement and support to move to the next level
Tips for the wider business for managing working mothers:
- Offer a condensed working week in school holidays, flexibility to work from home if needed or emergency child care support
- Ensure effective technology is in place to support remote working
- Develop a culture that supports high achieving working mothers
- Organise company family days
- Encourage company networking and mentoring so that high achieving working mothers receive exposure to senior figures within the business
Implementing small changes can make a huge difference to the over-all well-being of working mothers and this in turn impacts productivity and retention.
I’ve had the privilege of working personally with Anna on this project and have seen first-hand the positive steps working mothers and their employers have taken as a result of it. Hopefully you will find it equally inspiring.
We are determined to continue to support working mums in 2015! As such, we going to be running a series of webinars over the next few months to give even more insight into our Keeping Women In research findings and we need real working Mums – people like you to get involved!
Author: Alexa Garthwaite, supporting the marketing of the researcher: Anna Rasmussen. Anna works with organisations to attract, engage and retain female talent. She has developed the app Open Blend which facilitates interactive coaching sessions between a business leader and a working mother. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for further updates about Keeping Women In, including webinar details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – She would love to hear from you