There is undoubtedly an exodus from the workplace when women become mothers. Many are not able to return to their previous careers and achieve new goals – and we know that’s not always for want of trying. Reacquiring these highly capable women as your top talent is an essential component to help businesses large and small address the gender diversity challenge – and flexible working is certainly the key to unlocking this in the workplace. Flexible working – a hot topic frequently debated in the boardroom! Some are sold on the benefits, others grudgingly do the statutory minimum – seeing flexibility as an occasional necessary evil, not a smart strategy. Yet organisations are under pressure to recruit experienced women to senior roles and address historical gender imbalances. So, it’s not surprising that forward-thinking businesses are realising that flexibility is a way to boost productivity for all and attract the senior women missing from their organisations. “More than 80 % of mothers would choose flexibility over a pay rise.” Flexibility doesn’t have to mean unpleasant compromise for an organisation. There are genuine business benefits to flexibility, beyond accessing this hidden talent pool. Increased profitability: A recent study revealed that 83 % of companies who adopted flexible working saw an increase in profits. Save on staffing costs: Alternative approaches to the traditional 9-to-5 enables organisations to afford more senior people – the value of an experienced part-time mother can far outweigh the benefits of employing a full-time junior with little experience and high training needs. Better productivity: Studies show that flexibility is a real motivator for employees. It’s not surprising then that it engenders loyalty, improving retention and lowering absenteeism by enabling teams to work the way that suits them. <> The Business Case for Flexible Working Gender pay gap reporting is further thrusting the issue of gender disparity into the spotlight. In 2016 the UK government set a target of seeing 33% of FTSE 350 leadership roles filled by women by 2020. According to the Hampton Alexander Review, published in 2017, around 40% of executive appointments need to go to women if that is going to be achieved. Businesses offering flexible options are best-placed to recruit the senior women they need to achieve this goal. Flexibility comes in all shapes and sizes It may be that a full-time role spread over 12 months with August off, term time working, five shorter days, staggered working hours, job share or working from home – to name only a few possibilities. There is certainly no ‘one-size fits all’ to flexibility and with so many variations there is something to suit all businesses and people. Organisations should feel confident designing roles to suit their needs, instead of defaulting to full-time as standard. Let’s not also forget how technology has made it possible to work anywhere at any time, freeing employers to design roles that truly work for their business and their people. Discover the Mothers of our Hood Our mothers aren’t defined by the fact that they’ve had children. They’re skilled, experienced and highly motivated to succeed in the workplace - top talent for any organisation. The figures back this up: 89% have 10+ years’ experience, and they are highly educated. 82% have a degree, while 34% have a masters, 65% are in management and 22% in senior management or board level roles. About 2to3days With these benefits at the forefront, 2to3days is a social and economic movement. Our aim is to help close the void between business and motherhood by championing mothers’ career progression through flexible working. By harnessing the ‘Power of the Hood’ – our online community of 28,000 mothers and employers spread the word and share opportunities across their own networks. The results speak for themselves – employers such as Nationwide, KPMG, Shell and many other SME’s are already experiencing success with us. Adverts on 2to3days generate an average of 12 applications each, and 70% of our clients hire one of our mothers. We are not another ‘post and pray’ job board or an expensive recruitment agency. We care passionately about finding companies and motivated mothers to increase the performance of your business, repaying flexibility with high levels of experience and productivity.