On this week of Mothers’ Day we see increasing levels of spending each year, with £928M spent in the UK alone in celebrating our mothers with flowers, cards and gifts. What is it about this one day that brings out such generosity towards mothers, and can this really be the one day of the year that we truly recognise the value of the contribution mothers make to our lives? Business owners of Small and Medium businesses frequently ask me: “What salary would your mothers expect to earn for this role?” I find it incredibly hard to answer this question specifically, as every job is unique and there are so many factors that go in to determining a person’s salary. The level of responsibility, the role you want them to do, how much value you attribute to their skill set and experience, what you pay the rest of your team, the age and stage of the company, the culture of the company, the geographical location of the company - and that’s before you get down to the nitty gritty of what days or hours you want them to work. Pay mothers what they are worth My answer is always consistently the same – RESPECT your employees. They want to be paid what they are worth, and paid enough to be motivated to do a job properly, based on output and contribution. Women also want to be respected for being mothers – and that’s the beauty of our site. Our 2to3days site allows these women for the first time to bring their whole self to the interview instead of a more usual navigation of the need to mention their children and their need for flexible hours. Acknowledging the ‘elephant in the room’ upfront allows the interviewee to shine and to respond whole-heartedly to questions without having to be on high alert about when the right time is to mention that she has children and therefore would love to do this role but flexibly! Instead, with palpable relief they can have the children conversation, get that bit acknowledged, and move swiftly on to why and how they can fulfil the role to everyone’s satisfaction. Don’t b*llsh%t our mothers! So no - it’s not respectful to ask them to do a five day job in four days, or to go with the attitude of ‘what can I get away with as it’s a part-time role?’ or having the mind set of paying them less as they will be grateful to have a job because they are a mother! 2to3days is an engaged community of around 20K people who believe in the value of part-time work for mothers. Its growth is shaped by its members, and our mothers vote with their feet – if a poor lowly-paid job is advertised on our site they don’t apply. Give them a great job that oozes RESPECT for the value that they can bring to your business and you will attract the appropriate applicants. Every day can be Mothers’ Day So follow the principles of respect and no b*llsh%t and you will earn our mothers’ respect and benefit from employing one of our fantastic and experienced mothers who will be loyal and capable additions to your company. Place an advert with us and enjoy the calibre of applicants that will come rolling in.
8 March was International Women’s Day. The theme of the day was #BeBoldForChange, and I had an awesome, unforgettable, game-changing day for 2to3days. I wanted to share with you what I got up on behalf of our fast-growing community. 2to3days is only 18 months old, still regarded as a ‘startup’ comprising a small team of ambitious people who are on a mission to end one of the UK's biggest current dilemmas – how do we unearth the employers who ‘get’ the value of hiring a smart, ambitious mother on terms on anything other than your traditional full-time contract and connect them to the most hidden but ‘most’ capable and committed workforce in the country, if not the world! Our aim is to be the UK No 1 site and the message I would like to feedback to each and every one of you brilliant mothers and forward-thinking employers is we are making tremendous headway in achieving that goal. So here’s a quick snapshot into my day what I did, what I learnt and who I met. It started with me forgetting to make a packed lunch for my daughter who was off on a school trip! Suffice to say she didn’t go hungry and I think I am forgiven. 1. Breakfast with Sadiq Khan and Allbright (funders of female-led businesses) Sadiq Khan opened the breakfast session telling us that he is a feminist and totally committed to getting more women working in the capital, as currently 1/3 of all senior jobs are done by men, who earn 12% more than women – complete shocker!! The press team were in full force and I had a split second to grab his attention to tell him about 2to3days and I did, phew! The upshot of which is I am now in touch with his colleague who is responsible for talent acquisition, so watch this space. We then had a panel discussion with three female founders, Cat Gizzoli of Piccolo, Aneeqa Khan of ePorta and Emily Forbes of Seenit who shared their entrepreneurial journey and their pearls of wisdom included: Grab the silver lining of every situation You grow with likeminded people around you, not by doing it on your own Self-confidence – separate personal from business – social media makes it tough and brilliant so surround yourself with people who will champion you 2. Lunch with Real Estate Women and BNP Paribas The man responsible for the event (which I didn’t know before I arrived) had been my Head of Talent 20 years ago when I was a Chartered Surveyor – so you just don’t know what connections you will reignite when you turn up to an event! Two brilliant women addressed the room, Ainslie McLennan from TH Real Estate and Dr Clare Eriksson Director of Research at the RICS. Their talks were peppered with great insights. Dr Clare had been told in order to get ahead Never pour the coffee Don’t take too many notes in case you are asked to write up the minutes! When looking to do anything that will help you progress always ask – the worse anyone can say is ‘no’ and they will, but ask anyway! #BeBoldForChange – ‘Be’ your own personality Dr Clare went on to talk about financial security for women vs choices: "...childcare should not in my opinion be a woman’s issue but a family issue. When my children were tiny my husband saw our childcare cost as an investment in my career not as a cost that had to be worn heavily on my shoulders ( I won’t lie, at times it still did, as that is the mind set of our society but it made those tough conversations a lot easier to have due to his mind set!)" Whilst Ainslie McLennan encouraged us all to: ‘fire our line managers’ if they don’t ‘hear’ you and help you progress! ‘Be’ curious, look for solutions ‘Be’ upfront – don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to the person it was meant for! 3. Afternoon reception at No. 10 Downing Street Yup, I got to walk through the famous black door! The Prime Minister hosted an event to celebrate and thank all the people from the armed forces, charities through to business who are collectively making a contribution to the empowerment of women and I made the cut – this was a landmark moment for me both personally and professionally and one that will be cherished for years to come. I made some fabulous connections with captains of industry who loved my story about 2to3days – I now have some very key sales meetings in the diary – the jobs are coming and just for you! 4. Evening cocktails at the Power of Women Awards by Dress for Success hosted by the CBI I was humbled to watch women from across industry receive awards for their contribution to female empowerment in the workplace – I also made some more great connections from more captains of industry who just love the 2to3days mission! By 9pm I crawled home – both exhausted and exhilarated by my day. #BeBoldForChange – my takeaways from this incredible day: Be your true self – my authentic self is powerful 'May I say hi?' or 'May I join your conversation?' – that’s all you ever have to say to join a conversation to make your next great connection ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’ – Be you!
Here at 2to3days, we always have an ear to the ground to find exciting, flexible working opportunities for our mothers. Sometimes this happens in the most unlikely of places. On a trip to the bowling alley with her children, our CEO, Juliet Turnbull, struck up a conversation with a mother in the next lane. When the conversation turned to business, it transpired that her husband was experiencing difficulty recruiting for a sales manager role, until 2to3days stepped in. Barns Morison, the founder of Pineneedle, tells us more: Can you tell us a bit about Pineneedle? Pineneedle was founded by my business partner and me in 1988 as a print and design company producing bespoke publications. Now, we are the leading agency in producing wedding and ceremonies literature for councils across the UK. Our company comprises of two directors, one graphic designer and a sales team of six, three of whom have been found through 2to3days. All of our staff work remotely. Why did you advertise with 2to3days? Initially, I advertised the position on one of the larger recruitment sites. We had taken on more projects and I didn’t know where to look for staff. We just got inundated with completely the wrong people. It wasn’t what we wanted and was really a waste of time and money. I was literally pulling my hair out trying to find good sales managers. When my wife came back and told me about 2to3days I knew it was the answer. I totally got the concept. We have 3 children and my wife had taken time out for them. If you’re ambitious or have got a good career you want to get back into it. When we placed an ad with the large recruitment site lots of young graduates applied who didn’t have the experience. Experience can be hugely underestimated. Placing an ad with 2to3days was a no-brainer for us; of course we’d take on those with experience who could do the job. We hired our first sales manager through 2to3days just before Christmas. I then placed another ad in January and hired three more sales managers. I had only intended to hire one mother, but I knew I would’ve been kicking myself had I let two go and they’d found work elsewhere, they were all that good! What are your views on flexible working? Flexible working is something that is important to me. When we started the company, sales were all face-to-face, people would see clients and sign them up. Now, a lot of business is done over the phone or by email. It works for us. And, as a parent I want to be involved; to be there for my children and see them in school productions or sporting events. Running my business flexibly makes sense on many levels and I want to offer my staff the same flexibility. We have to have trust in our team, and hiring someone who just gets it and is confident in their abilities is key to our success. Remoteness can be a challenge, you have got to treat people like grown-ups; our sales team are very experienced and they know exactly what they’re doing. We’ve always said if you want help or advice we’re here but otherwise, you will be left to your own devices if that’s the way you want to work. Our sales team of mothers talk to one another. It works really well, great advice is given and solutions are found between them. We also have more than one person working on the bigger projects, so there is a lot of teamwork involved, even if we don’t meet face to face. How has your sales team of mothers helped drive growth? I’m a big believer that it’s not the hours you do but what you do during those hours. Already, our team has driven business growth by achieving more upfront sales than before. We are totally confident in their abilities. Now we have the staff it’s our job to find them new projects, we want to keep people as busy as we can which is great for the company and our growth. I would definitely use 2to3days again now I know how it operates and I know the quality of people you’re going to get, for me it’s absolutely brilliant. I want more people to know about it. For a company like mine, it’s an absolute godsend!