Increase Female Leadership With Family Support & Flexibility

Part 3 of the Women & the Path to Staffing’s Highest Ranks Series

Four weeks and four blogs here at Staffing Stream have given us lots of time and space to dissect the factors that are helping and hindering women on the pathway to staffing’s highest ranks. Over the past month, I have heard back from many industry leaders and professionals as we examined factors affecting women’s rise to leadership roles across the industry. They’ve agreed that this is an important topic and many have shared how urgently they feel this issue needs to be addressed as demographics change and rising generations reshape the culture and makeup of the workforce.

To conclude this series and spark further discussion, I want to look at family leave and flexible work options because they are critical to attracting and retaining employees. Staffing firms that want to retain talented women (and men for that matter) and cultivate them for leadership roles need to understand how important flexibility and family leave are to building a more diverse workforce.

Paid Leave Pays Off
Businesses of all industries are quickly learning that paid parental leave is for more cost-effective than losing employees who are expanding their families. In 2012, the Center for Women and Workat Rutgers published its study, Pay Matters: The Positive Economic Impact of Paid Family Leave for Families, Businesses and the Public, and this powerful finding: “New mothers who take paid leave are more likely than mothers who do not take leave to be working again nine to 12 months after childbirth.”

Realizing that the cost and time it takes to replace workers is often much higher and far longer than paid leave, many businesses are embracing more generous paid leave options. Take for example Intel’s January announcement to offer eight weeks of “paid bonding leave” to both new mothers and fathers. This leave is in addition to the company’s paid 13 weeks of maternity leave and can be used anytime within the first year after birth, adoption or foster care placement. Intel, in announcing the new benefit, stated that the company expects the family leave program to help “increase female, black, Hispanic, and other minority group of employee”across Intel’s ranks.

Donna Carroll, president of TrueBridge Resources, is a mother of four and 20-year staffing industry veteran who knows too well the challenges of balancing work and family priorities. “As I have taken on more responsibility and geography over the years, work-life balance becomes more critical and something I set as a priority in my weekly calendar,” Carroll says. “As a leader, the key is knowing what requires your personal involvement versus what you can delegate. When away I need to be able to ‘turn it off’ and fully focus on my family and rejuvenate. I also think as a leader that I need to respect this time of my team to allow them the same opportunity.”

The tech industry — long notorious for low numbers of women employees across the workforce and in leadership — offers another example of how better leave practices improve retention rates among female staff. Several years ago, Google used its famous analytical capabilities to study where attrition was highest among the women it employs. The data revealed that postpartum women were leaving the company twice as often as other employees. Google adjusted its maternity leave from a three-month partially paid sabbatical to a fully paid five-month sabbatical. As a result of those changes, resignations from new mothers at Google fell by 50%.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Global overview: Maximum working hours, overtime pay, rest periods and break entitlements and holidays

Take Google’s Idea & Run
While Google’s new policy is admirable, I want to look at how the company used its aptitude for analytics to identify when and why women were leaving. Staffing businesses of all sizes need to do the same. Take one of the staffing industry’s unique aptitudes — understanding the career wants and needs of people — and apply it to the challenge of getting women what they need to stay in the workplace and advance. Just as staffing firms work to become effective career agents to job seekers, they can do the same by turning those capabilities inward.

What if staffing firms used their significant interviewing skills to work with the talented female professionals and executives within their own walls to determine the barriers to advancement? For Google, the partially paid and short-term leave the company first offered looks like an obvious problem today, but it took hard data for them to see it. For staffing firms, collecting data to look at when and why women are leaving will also help. Add to that staffing’s unique ability to connect and engage with professionals and the industry could build its own retention advantage. Staffing companies, working directly with women in recruiting, account executive and management roles, could better determine at which points staffing work and life demands converge to force tough career choices. By using the role of career advisor to better understand and adapt to the needs and demands of working women, the staffing industry has the ability to become a highly attractive career destination to this growing and essential population of professionals. So, ask yourself and your leadership teams this: when is the last time you went beyond anonymous surveys and initiated focus groups and candidate conversations about the needs and work-life challenges of your hardworking workforce?

Flexibility Drives Fidelity
There are many life events outside of a new child that can cut into the progress of one’s work and career. From taking on the care of an elderly parent to an illness in the family to increased childcare demands, women and men face a variety of work-life challenges that can be greatly helped by flexible work schedules.

Businesses that allow for greater work flexibility — part-time roles, job sharing and flexible hours — not only increase their chances of keeping knowledgeable, skilled staff members but also increase overall retention and job satisfaction among all employees. And though the idea of flexible work has long been around, it’s one younger generations have embraced. A 2013 EY survey of younger workers (ages 18 to 32) found that 33% of the population would not work for a company that didn’t offer flexible work schedules.

When it comes to ambitious and talented women in staffing, flexibility in work schedules and work location (telecommuting) can be a valuable way to retain great talent and an important way to feed their success. For example, I recently spoke with Mary Lucas, chief resource officer at Staffmark, who explained how valuable flexibility has been to her professional success and to the performance of her nationwide team of virtual recruiters. “We know that flexibility is very important to women and it’s very important to millennials. Over the course of my staffing career, having the ability to work virtually has become increasingly more important for me and it’s the same for my team,” Lucas says. “My philosophy when it comes to creating a virtual workforce is to ‘trust people a little bit more than they deserve’ and you will be pleased with how they step up and respond. Currently, I have more than 30 hardworking members on my team nationwide all leveraging some form of flexible work benefit, from virtual offices to flexible hours. Their appreciation for that flexibility and our trust is repaid many times over in high performance and loyalty.”

A Better Workplace for All
For the staffing industry and for all industries, working to build workplaces that better retain and cultivate women is good business. As the workforce increases in diversity and female population, it requires leadership that reflects today’s demographics. Staffing companies that use their unique advantages — understanding and meeting the career needs of job seekers — to attract and retain top female professionals will put themselves ahead of the recruiting curve and be will on their way to building a diverse and innovative workforce.

MORE: How the gig economy is changing labor strategies

Leah McKelvey

Leah McKelvey
Leah McKelvey is director, global enterprise operations, at Bullhorn. She can be reached at leah (dot) mckelvey (at) bullhorn (dot) com.

Leah McKelvey

Share This Post

Tweet

Related Articles

23 Responses to “Increase Female Leadership With Family Support & Flexibility”

  1. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Read More Infos here|There you can find 77842 more Infos|Infos on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  2. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Informations here|Here you will find 98933 more Informations|Informations on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  3. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Infos here|Here you can find 12719 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  4. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Infos here|Here you will find 234 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  5. smerter says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Infos here|Here you can find 57868 more Infos|Infos on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  6. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Infos here|There you can find 86777 additional Infos|Infos on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  7. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Find More Informations here|There you will find 74599 more Informations|Infos on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  8. tutorial says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Infos here|There you will find 4694 additional Infos|Infos to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  9. ar iq says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Infos here|Here you will find 14985 more Infos|Infos to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  10. cmovieshd says:

    … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Read More Infos here|Here you will find 72366 additional Infos|Infos on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  11. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Read More Informations here|There you will find 78126 additional Informations|Informations on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  12. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on|Find More|Find More Infos here|There you will find 13027 more Infos|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  13. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Informations here|There you will find 13748 more Informations|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  14. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Informations here|There you will find 59608 additional Informations|Infos on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  15. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Informations here|Here you can find 25574 more Informations|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  16. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Infos here|There you can find 33595 additional Infos|Infos to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  17. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More on|Find More|Find More Infos here|Here you can find 47042 more Infos|Infos to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  18. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Informations here|There you can find 37732 additional Informations|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  19. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Find More Informations here|Here you will find 40341 more Informations|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  20. … [Trackback]

    […] Find More here|Find More|Read More Infos here|There you will find 70941 additional Infos|Infos on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  21. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here|Read More|Find More Infos here|Here you can find 76280 more Infos|Informations on that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

  22. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on|Read More|Find More Informations here|Here you will find 16487 more Informations|Informations to that Topic: thestaffingstream.com/2015/06/02/increase-female-leadership-with-family-support-flexibility/ […]

Powered by staffingindustry.com ·