On Friday my colleague Annabel Timberlake and I had the privilege of giving a talk to a fabulous group of mothers from a school based in the heart of Hampshire. I left so energised and inspired. The ideas and support that were flying around the room were electric and a great reminder that 2to3days is far more than a recruitment hub – 2to3days is a movement and the potential for companies when they harness the experience, motivation and determination of these mothers is extraordinary. In the group we had network engineers - and we all know that female engineers are like hens’ teeth, very hard to find - a Chartered Surveyor who until recently had managed a global fund worth over £1billion as well as lawyers, operations managers and an architect. Plus two mothers who run their own companies, both of whom want to work with 2to3days to find them architects and lawyers. These mothers were all at the top of their profession when they stopped to have their family as their previous employers wouldn’t support them to do both. One great, but appalling, piece of feedback was that a mother was told by her last male boss – ‘a piece of advice – never thank me for your bonus. I gave you the least amount I could get away with’. – Ouch! We need to help progressive companies and leaders to step forward and stop this archaic nonsense. Carpe diem! The mothers registered on 2to3days have had a family not a lobotomy! They all want to work – by integrating their work with their responsibilities towards their family and that’s OK. That’s what we should all be doing. I hate with a passion the phrase ‘work-life’ balance as this assumes, wrongly, that your work is separate to your ‘life’. These mothers from leafy Hampshire, who get overlooked and side-lined, pigeonholed as ‘just mothers’, actually want to grab their careers back and make a meaningful contribution to UK Plc. That was just a snapshot from a small pocket in Hampshire. Combine that with the rest of the mothers across the UK and our economy will rock! The £23billion deficit that sits in our GDP as a result of not tapping into this hidden but rapidly growing talent pool will shrink, and quickly. That’s why 2to3days is a movement that openly welcomes progressive companies, business leaders and mothers to join and collectively we can harness the latent potential of this hidden but amazing talent pool. If you would like me or a member of our team to come and talk to your company or a group of other fabulous mothers then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you believe in what we are doing here at 2to3days, please join us today!
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 We are pleased to say 2to3days recently appeared in HR News with the following article. 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.
If you are a man and regarded as a ‘key stakeholder’ of your company then this note is for you. I hope it causes you to reflect and, if appropriate, go to work this week and elect to work on stretching your ‘comfort’ zone because if you do, you will inspire others to follow. Last Friday I was wrapping up for the weekend and one of my last calls was to my contact in the marketing team of the recruitment arm for a global bank. I wanted to find out the outcome of their recent Board meeting and whether they had elected to work with 2to3days. One of their strategic imperatives is to address their female talent pipeline - especially at a senior level - which they can do easily and cost-effectively by engaging with the thousands of mothers in our 2to3days community. So I was really hopeful of getting the green light. The update I got was that they do want to work with 2to3days (which is great) BUT…. don’t we hate getting to the but! The ‘but’ was that first they needed to “work on” the predominantly “male key stakeholders” on the value of flexible working before they could take their project to market. This, they say, will take at least until the end of the year giving this particular bank only a few months before they yet again have to report on their Gender Pay gap. Previous experience tells me it will be a lot longer than that! But I remain hopeful. It is comments like this that make my heart sink. ‘Here we go again, the same old scratched record’ is where my thoughts go, whilst the image that springs to my mind a bunch of in their suits huddled in their Boardroom caves, with various members of the HR team sent on a mission to convert them to the flexible working ‘dark side’, all looking, dare I say it, pale, male and stale. We love you guys whatever your ethnicity, but it’s the stale bit that we want to shake off. Anything stale in my life gets chucked in the bin. As a key you need to be an inspiration to your company and challenge every aspect of the business, not be conformists to out of date thinking and action! So, I challenge each and every one of you to stop and answer honestly this one simple question: "What have I done to help progress the performance of my company through the lens of flexible working?" If you can hand on heart list what you have done then you are a beacon of light and we would love to hear from you. If the answer is nothing then I challenge you to throw away your comfort blanket and instead go to your recruitment teams and say that you want to genuinely champion flexible working. If you do you will be able to hire some of the best out there to help you and your company excel. We recently surveyed our mothers and 86% of our mothers can be highly flexible as to the hours and days they work, 77% able to attend to urgent matters out of hours. These women gave up on you once before and I bet you still miss them. Now they want to give you a second chance so don’t blow it! Be the boss that your teams admire not secretly despair of. Be a role model to your children as they certainly won’t want to be working full time but will still want to drive success in their career. The irony is that you don’t even have to be that radical. Just meet our mothers and let them tell you how they will do an outstanding job for you so the concerns you have disappear – the productivity won’t drop, the clients will still be happy, your team will be motivated and happy and if you have external investors you will make them smile too! Stale or hale and hearty? It’s your call.
“She won’t want to do that sort of work” – HR Director and Business Owner “Have you tested the market?” – Juliet Turnbull “No!” “I suggest you try…” “You’re right, we should…” The work we were talking about is critical in every company. It’s commonly known as back office support but I like to think of it as the ‘backbone’ – if it isn’t doing its job properly, supporting all the other functions of the company, then your business, like your body, can get into an almighty mess very quickly! This week I had a similar conversation with both the Head of Recruitment for a global insurance company and a fast recruitment agency in SW London. They were both lamenting the cost and disruption of hiring young people to do this work, only to see them resign six months later. I presented a solution. Hire the mothers from the 2to3days community. They are reliable, dependable and have a more mature attitude to their work. Most importantly, and here’s the irony – they want to do the work you need doing! Why? Because they are motivated by a different set of values. They aren’t necessarily aspiring to be the next CEO. They want to use their brains and their skills, they want to contribute, they want to escape for a few hours from the drudge of domesticity. After all, when they do get home they often then become the CEO and probably the COO too and do their own battles with the younger generation! I am not saying don’t hire the younger generation as they have a huge amount of value to add. Progressive companies need to have a workforce that reflects society, not just men at the top and the young guns bringing up the rear. We all know the saying – ‘if you want a job done well, ask a busy person.’ There is no better person to ask than one of the thousands of highly capable mothers who form part of the dynamic 2to3days community. They want to do a great job on flexible terms that work for the company and for them as mothers. To me, it’s a no-brainer – but then, hey, I am one of those busy mothers and I get it all done!
Varied, interesting work with global clients. The chance to manage a team. One-to-one coaching and development. That’s what’s on offer right now from EY. The professional services organisation is currently recruiting for Reconnect, a 12-week paid programme to help people get back into work after a career break of two to 10 years. There are opportunities available in tax, accounting and financial advisory starting in September 2018. Aimed at returners with managerial experience in professional services or a similar environment, the Reconnect programme is the perfect opportunity to revitalise your career and professional skills whilst building a network of like-minded people. “It’s really boosted my professional confidence” – Minaxi’s story Minaxi Arnold had taken a career break to raise a family. After a period of freelance and volunteer work she decided she wanted a role that would increase her knowledge and experience, as well as developing relationships with colleagues and clients. Now, after completing the EY Reconnect programme, she’s a manager in EY’s People Advisory Services business. She says, “I was impressed with how EY embraces flexibility. Here having a family is not career limiting – rather the opposite! EY is aware and appreciative of my achievements, which has really boosted my confidence. These programmes ignore the gap in a person’s career history and look at an individual’s experience and skills to match them to appropriate roles.” Initially Minaxi did have some reservations.“I didn’t think I’d get back into the work mindset having had a career break,” she says. “But actually I picked up right where I left off.” Throughout the programme she enjoyed “working, learning something new, delivering client work and winning new business.” It wasn’t a difficult decision for Minaxi to stay on at EY after finishing the Reconnect programme.“I had enjoyed my ‘internship’ and valued being part of a growing and successful team,” she says. “I could see how my contribution counted towards our growth.” Continuing to develop as a professional is really important to Minaxi and she’s taken up many opportunities to keep learning. “I was invited to the New Manager training course to prepare for being a manager at EY,” she explains. “I was also picked to represent my business area on a pilot EMEIA Immersion training course in Prague which was really invaluable. More recently, I was invited to attend my team’sBusiness Bootcamp in Berlin. There is so much valuable learning and development, it is really up to the individual to get involved and take ownership of their own learning.” On her return to work, it didn’t take long for Minaxi to start making a real impact.“There have been a few achievements I’m proud of since returning. I recently helped UKI Recruitment to select a new Application Tracking System vendor which will be rolled out later this year. I also drafted a People Strategy for an $8 billion telecommunications company!” And if Minaxi could go back to give a piece of advice to herself before starting the Reconnect programme?“I would tell myself to be confident in my abilities,” she says.“I was worried my skillset wouldn’t transfer into my new role but I’ve managed to continually surprise myself and would encourage anyone thinking about returning to work to do the same!” How to apply? If you’re thinking about re-joining the world of work and are looking for a support network to help you succeed, visit EY's page to find out more.
The world of work is changing and companies not willing to consider atypical working patterns can miss out on securing the best talent to increase business performance. Companies that offer flexibility both retain talent longer and have the potential to get more than their ‘9 to 5’ with 77% of employees being happy to attend to urgent matters out of hours and 58% willing to work evenings*. The Evening Standard recently explored why the flexible working model championed by 2to3days has achieved so much success in an interview with our founder and CEO, Juliet Turnbull. "If you just have a workforce full of men, that isn't a true reflection of society," Turnbull explained. "We need the mothers of this country to be productive. And businesses need these women.” “Corporate companies have not been supportive of motherhood and work. The pressure [on women] has come from non-supportive environments at work - why can’t a meeting be earlier in the day? Can she work from home?" She added: “There is a cynicism and lack of trust [among women] about going back into the corporate world. The big companies need to change to show that they are listening to and respecting women.” This is why 2to3days.com is such a key platform for employers who recognise flexibility is crucial to attracting, nurturing and retaining dedicated, talented employees throughout their career. It connects the right talent to the right companies. The Evening Standard article highlights employers such as HSBC, Grant Thornton, Santander and London Stock Exchange who are attracting talent through 2to3days and we continue to work with many more. Discover what 2to3days can do for your business here Look for your next flexible role here Read the full version of the article here *survey of 1500 women by 2to3days looking for flexible skilled and senior roles
We are delighted to be partnering with Shell to promote their new and exciting Return to Work programme and we were thrilled to see such a fantastic response when we asked if you had any questions about it. Shell were really keen to provide answers to your questions as this helps them enormously too. So whether you asked a question and want to see the answer, or you just want to find out more, please read on. And you can find all the details about this great opportunity for anyone who has been on a career break of 12 months or more here including information about the roles available in the following disciplines: IT Project Management or IT Advisory Corporate Accounting & Treasury Management Geology & Geophysics Reservoir Engineering 1. Is there a requirement to work full time after finishing if one of these 6 month 3-day placements is secured, or will later jobs be similarly flexible? Shell supports flexible working and we seek to offer flexibility in all roles, where business requirements allow. If after completing the Return to Work Programme, an individual is successful in securing a permanent position within Shell, working patterns and arrangements can be discussed and agreed with the line manager of the role. 2. Are detailed job descriptions available for the roles? More detailed job descriptions will be provided to candidates who successfully progress through to the next stage following telephone interviews with Inclusivity Partners. 3. What is the day rate for the programme? Contractors will receive a day rate in line with UK market practice. If you are selected for a telephone interview the day rates for each project will be discussed at that time. 4. Is the scheme open to those who have done some work on a part-time/freelance/self-employed basis as part of their career break? In order to be eligible for the programme, you must have taken a career break of 12 months or more immediately preceding the date you commence the programme. Shell defines a career break as a period during which you have been unemployed and not otherwise engaged to provide paid work/services (excluding any periods of less than three months during which you have undertaken contract work). 5. I am hoping to make an application to the Shell Return to Work programme but am unsure which area would be most suitable for me. Is there a matching process or will you help find the best possible match for my experience and skills? It is recommended that you apply to the role that best matches your skill set. If the recruiter feels you may be most suitable for another role, they will discuss this with you. 6. Who will be involved in the interviews? Inclusivity will hold the telephone interviews with applicants. If you are successful, Shell will hold the face to face assessment in the office (or virtual if you are unable to come into the office). 7. What support and training is on offer? We are offering projects in disciplines that require specific skill sets and experience and so candidates will need to come with a background to deliver in role. You will receive coaching and mentoring within Shell to get back up to speed with industry knowledge. In addition, you will receive: Ability to request flexible work patterns either on a formal or informal basis during the programme Career coaching from our external coaching experts A buddy to help navigate your way in Shell Support from a dedicated programme manager Access to Shell discounts with Bright Horizons Online learning resources Participants in the programme will also be able join events run by our UK networks including our Asian, African, Disability, Experience Hire, Gender Balance, Ibero-America, Parenting and our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender networks. 8. If I get accepted on the Shell Return to Work programme, would it be possible for me to defer my start date? Unfortunately it is not possible to defer a place on the programme. We encourage you to express interest in joining Shell through shell.co.uk/careers. 9. Are you looking for mentors for the programme? At the start of the programme, all participants will be partnered with a mentor from the line of business that they are working. The mentor will meet regularly with the returner to share career advice, discuss market practice and offer guidance.
A mix of freelancers and part-time workers have been instrumental in making independent research firm Edison a success, Neil Shah tells 2to3days. Investment research firm Edison Group believes in doing things differently. Its model of providing business-commissioned research is thriving under MiFID II regulation on financial markets, while its employment model offers a flexible approach rare in City firms. Since its inception in 2003, Edison has offered its analysts flexibility in how and when they work. “It’s a core part of Edison’s value proposition,” says Director of Research Neil Shah. “When we started we needed to be innovative. We took on freelancers who were typically mums who had stepped away from city careers and didn’t want to go back to 7am-9pm full-time roles and not see their families.” The approach has been hugely successful. “We have been struck by the positivity exuded by people who have this as part of what they do but not the entirety. It rubs off on the whole firm.” Shah adds that flexible workers tend to be highly efficient and having people with a portfolio of different things brings a ‘creative spark’ to the office floor. “Flexibility is not a small part of the firm’s strategy, it’s a core part of our success.” Of 120 staff members, around 40 people work part-time – ranging from freelancers to those working two, three or four days a week. Edison’s analysts cover a wide range of industries and companies – currently the firm is looking for analysts in technology, financials, real estate, investment trusts, mining, healthcare, oil & gas and fintech, as well as supervisory roles. The company set out to be independent of traditional conflicts of interest in banking. Its business-funded model has gained further traction since the financial crisis and growing European regulation in this area. In the first quarter of 2018 business expanded by 10% and the second quarter is on track for similar growth. While a team of senior analysts manages each sector on a day to day basis, all analysts report to Shah. “Everyone is different,” he says. “In our initial meeting I try and get an understanding of what they are looking for – some people are hungry to get on and are willing to offer three days, others may be at the point where their child has just started nursery, they aren’t sure how it will go and want to start gently.” Eventually the business aims to have all analysts covering at least five stocks, but this happens over time and is tailored to an individual’s capacity. Those working flexibly are not left to their own devices. Initially, Shah suggests they come into the office regularly while they bed down in the role. “We offer flexibility around that,” he says. “We try and get new joiners to develop a routine where they come in at least once a week to spend time with the team and build their network. As that develops it’s much more flexible. Most of my contact with some team members is by email or phone but I’ve got to know them well enough to do that.” There is a strong team ethos. “If you can’t attend a meeting because of other commitments someone will try and step in and attend on your behalf. If you need someone to review a note before it goes to the editorial team someone will help.” Shah adds that it is gratifying to see mums returning with low confidence and making a success of their careers. He cites one analyst who went on to a full-time role in asset management at UBS, while others have moved from freelancing at Edison to working part-time for the firm. “Other people like the flexibility and prefer to stay freelance.” The flexibility offered by Edison is a source of real pride, says Shah. “It’s a key strength of our business. We care about the people working for us and they care about the work they do, which is the best thing for our clients.” See all of Edison's latest opportunities here.