Don’t underestimate the power of your vision to change the world. Whether that world is your office, your country, your industry or a global movement. You need to have a core belief that what you can contribute can fundamentally change the paradigm or way of thinking about problems. Larry Hood Award-winning American Scientist Our beliefs influence our thoughts which govern our actions. Quite a lot of the time we aren’t even conscious of what we believe in, yet these unconscious beliefs govern the decisions we make at work. I am therefore really curious to understand what shelf space flexible working gets in your head, if at all. Awareness is the catalyst of change so I would love it if you would be bold and share with me what you believe when you consider the role flexible working can have on the performance and well-being of your company. Do you believe that the productivity and performance of your business will improve through flexible working? Or do you believe flexible working is a hassle to implement therefore you ignore it? Do you believe that children should have equal opportunities at school and therefore one would assume at work too? Do you believe that flexible working will hit your bottom line? Those of you with children do you tell your daughter and son that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up? Do you really believe that or do you just not want to kill their dreams? Do you believe that your clients will leave you if your staff work flexibly? I would love to hear your reflections on these questions, or please share with me what you believe, as our beliefs are the power of change.
A new report from The Pipeline has emphasised just how much companies stand to gain by appointing more women in senior level roles. Profit margins are just under double in companies with at least 25% females on their Executive Committee compared to those with none. The third annual Women Count report revealed that, despite this unequivocal evidence, in the last three years there has been no progress on gender diversity in senior roles in the FTSE 350 and representation remains at 16%. The percentage of women on Executive Committees is said to be the best measure of gender equality in the FTSE 350, rather than representation on Boards, because executives have power in the running of a company. Some of the key findings included: FTSE 350 companies with no women on their executive committee only achieve an average 8.9 percent net profit margin. Where there are at least 25% women on executive committees, average net profit margins soar by 5 percent, to 13.9 percent. Nearly a quarter of FTSE 350 companies have no women on their executive committees. If all the FTSE 350 companies performed at the same level as those with at least 25% women on their Executive Committee, the impact could be £5bn gender dividend for Corporate UK Not only this, but just 6% of Executive Committee members are women in profit and loss (P&L) roles and the number of companies with no women in executive P&L roles has risen from 2016. As traditional route to CEO positions, the lack of women in these roles indicates a longer-term challenge for companies looking to benefit from the gender dividend. The report found that far from ‘queen bee’ syndrome, companies with female CEOs have almost twice the number of women on their Executive Committee, over three times the number of female executives in P&L roles on their Executive Committee and more than twice as many female executives on their main plc board setting these companies inline for higher profits. Commenting on the startling findings, the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Select Committee said: “This lack of progress calls into serious question the possibility of achieving the UK’s target of 33% by 2020 which I set in response to the Davies Report, as Minister for Women and Equalities in 2015. Businesses that don’t understand the need to appoint more senior executive women are failing to meet their full potential. I ask them to read this report and wake up to reality, in their own interests and the country’s interests.”
There is one week in the business calendar when a mother’s ability to juggle both home and work is seriously tested: the last week of the academic year. It’s fraught with Sports Day and prizing giving, and has the potential to create turbulence in the working week! This time of year the heat is turned up a notch at work as the Q2 results need to filed and overall there is a general accelerated pace of activity ahead of the pre-August exodus. So having to attend all of the end of term activities can cause eyes to roll and ‘I told you so’ being muttered under the breath of the flexible working cynics. Ironically, this time of year also clashes with the well-established 'corporate jollies’ amplified this year by the World Cup and England finally overcoming their fear of penalties and playing like a world cup team. Not to mention the glorious weather winking at you for a cheeky beer in the pub or a quick getaway to hit a ball down the fairway. When I am talking to companies about hiring talent, having a great attitude is the game changer for them all. Skills and relevant experience are vital – they get you to the start line but to win the race the pixie dust that we are all looking for in our ideal candidate is their attitude to do a great job, their ability to be a team player and make work a nice place to be. I’ve just attended two Sports Days and due to the nature of my business I actively stepped up my antenna to watch and listen and really understand how mothers, who are determined to progress their careers and be there for their children, make it work. Attitude #1 Discipline- She is up early and has dealt with all of her incoming emails Attitude #2 Planner– ahead of time she has studied the Sports Day schedule and quickly worked out, in the politically correct world that we live in, that her pride and joy is only starring in a maximum of four events, the rest of the time you are kicking your heels. So she is on a bench, laptop out, phone at her ear, working – the number of hand signals I got to inform me that she was on a conference call was high. Attitude #3 Organised– be it playdates after Sports Day, or taxis ready to zoom off to meetings, it was all sorted to military precision. Attitude #4 Present– she was there at the finishing line for each race – she did the high 5 and took the photo for the family album and to show their father later if he couldn’t make it! Attitude #5 Loyalty– there is no bunking off, she is there for you both and she got both jobs done. To get a job done ask a busy person - ask a mother! I would love to hear what other people’s top tips are to ensure that the balls aren’t dropped and the work still gets done at times when the domestic and business world collide.
Hiring great talent with the right skills experience and attitude is pivotal to business growth. Hiring flexibly is the key to unlocking this potential and the future is now. 2to3days is a national and dynamic community of progressive business leaders and mothers united in their commitment to support business performance and mothers’ career progression through the power of flexible working. With the UK facing a well publicised skills shortage, progressive employers are realising the potential that adapting working practices has on the ability to recruit and retain exceptional talent. We are accruing an absolute goldmine of information on how to realise the benefits of hiring flexibly for your business, as well as being an incredibly powerful route to access this talent. We want to share this knowledge with you through our newsletters and here’s our first one. We have called it 'The Voice of the Hood' as our aim is to regularly share with our ‘hood’ insights, ideas and stories which collectively will inspire you to think differently about how to harness the talent of the motherhood to improve the performance and well-being of your company. Please feedback and tell us what you like, don’t like and what you want more to see more of. Our sole aim is to be the catalyst for economic and social change.
Last week 2to3days met with Douglas Lamont the CEO for Innocent Smoothies to discuss how 2to3days can become a valuable hiring resource for them. Whilst Doug was giving us a tour of their offices he told us that it was company policy that everyone sits open plan, everyone is given a desk but that no one sits in their vertical departments e.g. a marketing pod, a finance pod, a branding pod etc. Instead the Innocent style, just like they do with their smoothies, is to blend everyone together so finance can find themselves sitting next to marketing who in turn could be next to HR and senior management. Simple but brilliant as it kills straight away silo mentality. Instead it creates cross-pollination of team expertise and creativity. Not only that, their team are actively encouraged to take on new roles. The amazing culture of their company was palpable. Like their fruit and veg it was fresh, vibrant and healthy. In common with many things in life, it is the simple solutions that help to make the world a better place to work. This was a notable example of how non-traditional formats can make a real difference to the success and performance of a business. We hear time and again at 2to3days how bringing in one of our mothers on a flexible basis has provided a rejuvenation in workplace perspective and attitude. Professional skills aside, their high passion and strong loyalty - created through their employer demonstrating true support to enable them to be the best they can professionally and personally - is infectious. Could a ‘shake-up’ be what your team needs to unleash even further performance? Find out more about hiring one of our mothers here.
We are pleased to say 2to3days recently appeared in Mail on Sunday's This is Money with the following article. A survey of 1,500 mothers revealed 95% would leave their jobs immediately if offered a similar role elsewhere with a more supportive work culture. Some of Britain's biggest firms are failing professional mothers who would leave their jobs 'in a heartbeat' if they were offered more flexible roles elsewhere. Entrepreneur Juliet Turnbull said women are becoming 'exhausted' trying to hold down full-time jobs which restrict the time the can spend with their young children because alternatives are not available. 'They have no life. All the surveys show that depression and divorce is on the rise because people are living a life that is not for them. These women are exhausted,' said Turnbull, who set up the recruitment hub for mothers 2to3days.com three years ago. 'We continue to live in this disconnect where your life exists outside your work. We only have one life and your work is part of it. If you are allowed to integrate both, it allows you to be a more well-rounded, happier human being,' she said. A survey of 1,500 mothers seeking skilled and senior part-time roles revealed 95 per cent from accountancy, finance and banking backgrounds said they would leave immediately if offered a similar role elsewhere with a more supportive work culture. But 92 per cent did not feel confident that there were enough employers in finance offering flexible and part-time jobs, according to the survey. 'The most striking thing for me is how many women are working full-time for these big companies and they would leave in a heartbeat if they could get a flexible role,' said Turnbull, whose firm conducted the survey. Turnbull, a mother of two who lives in South London, launched 2to3days.com after realising the professional recruitment market was letting down the rising number of women that wanted a 'better integration of their work and personal lives'. 'The industry is predicated on full-time salaries and they are not interested in part-time mothers. They will put the phone down and they are brutal. So three years ago I decided to do it my way and I haven't looked back.' Turnbull said her firm broke even last year and now has 28,000 registered members. 'We're at a tipping point. Our brand is widely known. Building a business takes time but we are now on the radar of some very large companies and companies are coming back to us for a second and third time.' Clients include Lloyd's of London, Nationwide, Santander and the Confederation of British Industry. She said interest from other firms has risen with the recent focus on Gender Pay Gap statistics. But she added: 'I think younger people - millennials - want something different. They've seen their dads burn out and they want something different. Now, at last, corporations are waking up.' Find out more about how we can help your company access this fantastic talent pool.
Great staff make great companies. The talent in your team is your most important asset. This article by Forbes summarises very well the importance of talent to a company. So in June and July whilst the chat around the water cooler is ‘where are you going on holiday this summer’ now is the perfect time for you to steal a march on the competition and look to hire skilled and experienced talent whose attitude rocks. Here’s why – when I am talking to business leaders about working with 2to3days they say to me countless times that ‘nothings happens in August’ so the role they are looking to fill would be a great role for a mother to do – this coupled with the fact that depending on the size of your company and the seniority of the role you are looking to hire the recruitment process can take anything from 4 – 12 weeks! So in reality they wouldn’t be joining you until September anyway which is a brilliant time to hire a mother as she has just started a new academic year. And like all new beginnings there is a fresh sense of energy and outlook. So whether you are a small business looking for great talent or a large organisation looking to close your gender pay gap, June and July are the perfect months to advertise positions that our highly capable mothers can do on a flexible basis. This is also the perfect opportunity to address head on one of the elephants in the room when it comes to hiring a mother – the summer holidays! The undeniable fact is that the summer holidays can be anything from 6-10 weeks and businesses never stop. But let’s get practical, they don’t, if we stop and think about it for a whole host of plausible reasons, need to be a barrier to hiring great talent. Talent is about the perfect alchemy of skills, experience and attitude. Dealing with the summer holidays is about attitude. Mothers’ attitude that rocks! 1. Commitment – she is driven by a higher purpose than her work – the wellbeing of her family. So working for you isn’t a decision she has taken lightly so once made she is committed to making it work 2. Trustworthy–it’s about getting the work done to a high standard and on time. You need to trust her, she will get the work done 3. Reliable and Responsible– let’s be honest. I don’t know any mother who doesn’t outsource her children to the television, a play date, grandparents or summer camp at some point over the holidays. She comes to work for her sanity, she comes to work to do a great job for you and for her wellbeing, and her contribution to the family finances. You can rely on her to make it work. Employers’ attitude that rocks! 1. Thoughtful– plan ahead. When do you need this person to start and how long is your recruitment period? 2. Considerate– is the summer the perfect time to ease them in gently so that come September they have settled in and ready to fire on all cylinders? 3. Honesty– If nothing happens in August tell her. Are you happy that she can work from home or change her time in the office? Let her know. Hiring great talent to grow great businesses starts with having an open and honest conversation between the hiring team and the candidate. Matching the business needs and culture of the company with the desire and experience of the candidate. Now is the perfect time to hire our mothers as they gear up for a new academic year in September. And if nothing happens in August that’s even sweeter for you both! I would love to hear from companies and mothers as to the practical things you have done to cover the summer holidays?