October 1, 2015
A fifth of UK businesses are planning to hire more returning mothers than they did a year ago, and are offering flexible working to attract them. New research from Regus claims returning mothers are valued by businesses because of their experience and skills, as well as reliability and time management. They are seen as less likely to change jobs, saving firms the cost of recruitment and re-training. Because the contrasting demands of motherhood and work are one of the main reasons women don’t return to work, respondents emphasised the important role flexible working plays in attracting female talent; with 81 percent believing that flexible working is key to attracting and retaining women. These workers are also valued for their experience and skills according to 73 percent of respondents and are seen as more reliable (24 percent) and organised (29 percent) than other staff.
In the survey of more than 4000 senior business people across the UK returning mothers were also reported to be very hardworking (18 percent) and to be more caring workers (17 percent); professionals also value working mothers’ drive to prove their worth (20 percent).
Commenting on the research, Celia Donne, Global Operations Director at Regus says: “There is a vast amount of untapped potential among skilled and experienced mothers who are unable to work due to family commitments. Flexible working enables companies to tap into this important talent supply and offer returning mothers a way back into the workforce.
“The benefits to businesses are clear; not least, lower staff turnover and associated hiring and training costs. But in order to retain these valuable employees it is critical that firms offer some level of flexible working, such as the possibility to work closer to home.
“With reports suggesting that if the number of women in the workforce reached the same as that of men national GDP growth could be up to 10 percent higher the case for increasing flexible working is very strong. Add to that the value placed on returning mothers and it is evident that businesses need to reassess their use of flexible working to attract top female talent.”