HR has a crucial link to senior management in supporting parents and women at work

Do you need hard facts for senior management to prove why it is ESSENTIAL we support women and working parents in our organisations?  Look no further than these August headlines.

Catching up with all the news over the summer period, as I have launched myself back into work, I was struck by the compelling messages in the news – in August alone! – pointing employers more than ever towards supporting working parents and women in the workplace. 

  1. The Telegraph, August:  Childcare in Britain is a Ticking Timebomb.  The struggle with childcare as working parents is preventing us from returning to work in the first place as well as causing us unnecessary costs and worry:
    • Last summer, one fifth of parents called in sick because of childcare issues over the peak summer holidays
    • 12% gave up work entirely
  1. The Telegraph: British Women work 2 hours free every day; 81p for every £1 a male colleague earns in the same role.  Working mums can very quickly become de-motivated when already struggling with return to work logistics and haphazard career support.
  1. HRZone and the CIPD reported on the shocking EHRC research that 50,000 new mums are forced out of work EACH YEAR:
    • 11% of women reported being edged out of work or treated so poorly on return from maternity leave that they had to leave.  Caroline Gatrell says ‘it is all too easy for employers to deny the issue of pregnancy discrimination, despite the evidence this occurs.’ 
  1. Managerial support is still woefully lacking, at a time when it is essential if working parents and women are to thrive in the corporate world over the longer-term.  The BLB Marketplace Approved Index Research reminded us in August that 42% employees leave a job because of a bad boss, and the EHRC research (mentioned above) found that 45% mothers reported problems with employer contact during maternity leave. 
  1. Finally, The Telegraph reported (again in August) that research from Indiana University found that male-dominated workplaces can cause dangerously high levels of anxiety in women.  This research resonates with the experiences of many of the women we work with, highlighting the importance of encouraging women in male-heavy teams to network with other women where possible.

If you’d like to read these articles in full, check out our Twitter account: @parenting4prof

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