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?
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 email@example.com. 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.