Timed nicely to coincide with International Women’s day, the government’s recent budget announcement to allocate £5m to ‘returnships’ has bought to the fore the vital role women play in our economy. Supporting initiatives that help women bridge the gap between taking time off to raise a family and getting back into the workforce can only be applauded.
There are more women in the workforce than ever before and yet for many women getting back on the career ladder, often after a significant period of time away, can be an uphill struggle. As Theresa May notes;
“Returnships” are open to both men and women but we should acknowledge that, more often than not, it is women who give up their careers to devote themselves to motherhood, only to find the route back into employment closed off – the doors shut to them.”
In addition to such positive schemes as “returnships”, businesses also need to recognise the importance of fostering a culture that encourages flexible, family orientated working practices.
Careers no longer follow the same set path as previous generations, and it is the businesses who understand this that are more likely to flourish the long run - being rewarded with an experienced, motivated, and loyal workforce.
Interestingly, it is small business and start-ups who are leading the way in offering a working culture that embraces a diverse and adaptable working environment. Indeed, here at BondMason flexible working is quite simply par for the course. For example;
- Over 60% of the BondMason team work flexible hours
- 50% are ‘returners’ who took a career break to raise a family
- Five work remotely from home
Being able to manage work around the school run or being able to work remotely is one of the most enticing things an employer can do to attract people who want to have a career but still need to manage the needs of a family. These people are often returners who have a wealth of knowledge, not to mention motivation and can hit the ground running – often essential for a small business or start-up.
As BondMason CEO, Stephen Findlay notes;
“As a small company we pride ourselves on offering a culture of ‘work to live’. Team members benefit from a working environment that is flexible, fulfilling, enjoyable and interesting and in return we profit from people who are knowledgeable, experienced and motivated – it’s win, win.”
*Warning: nothing in this article should be construed as advice. Your capital is at risk