|—||Brian Sloan is Head of Business and Economic Policy at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. He was talking with the city’s Key 103 radio station, as part its Making Business In Manchester series, supported by Regus. Manchester is home to nine Regus business centres.|
At the start of 2011 we issued a major survey of business attitudes towards working mothers. Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, so it’s an appropriate time to return to the report — Mother’s Day? — and take a look at what others said about it.
Jenna Goudreau writing for Forbes blog, The Other Half, highlighted that employers in the US and UK are reluctant to hire working moms:
Now that women are increasingly co-earners or sole breadwinners, families could feel the impact if moms are discriminated against in the hiring process.
The Times of India focused on a more positive angle, fueled by the country’s economic outlook:
Indian firms’ hiring intentions register far above global average, with 56 per cent of business leaders saying that they would recruit mothers into their workplaces on a part-time basis on account of accelerating economic growth and brightening of employment prospects.
CNN Expansion’s coverage of the survey included a range of case studies as well as official economic and population statistics:
En México, aunque el 17% del Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) está en manos de mujeres, queda un largo camino por andar para colocar al sexo femenino en igualdad de condiciones laborales, en especial a las madres de familia.
(In Mexico, despite the fact that 17% of its GDP is produced by women, there is still a long way to go before they can reach equal standards in terms of working conditions, this is especially the case with mothers.)
The UK’s Daily Mail wrote that mothers have faced more closed doors since that country’s recession:
As firms continue to suffer from the fall-out of the recession, many are refusing to give jobs to women with children – even though it means they are breaking the law.
Missed Mother’s Day? Review the key findings here or read the full report below:
- Cute Baby Mac Geek by randyzhang via Flickr
- Compared to a year ago 8% net fewer companies globally intend to hire returning mothers.
- The highest falls in intentions to hire working mums are found in South Africa (20% net), in the USA (18% net), in Spain and Germany (15% net).
- Only in the Netherlands have companies increased their expectation to hire more working mothers, up 4%.
- 31% of businesses have concerns about hiring returning mothers. These range from: the worry they may shortly take time off to have another baby; to lack of commitment; to out of date skills.
- However, more than double that number — fully 72% of firms — appreciate working mums as a valuable part of the employment pool.
- Net appreciation of returning mothers is highest in Japan (54%), Mexico (48%), Australia and Canada (38%) and lowest in India (11%) and South Africa (17%).
- Main concerns with hiring working mums are: lack of commitment (37%), risk of another maternity after a short time (33%), and out of date skills (24%).
- There is wide consensus (87%) that flexible working practices are family friendly suggesting that these measures are ideal to retain and attract this part of the employment pool.
- 70% of businesses also believe that flexible working practices are less expensive than fixed working.
Read the report in full on Scribd.com.
What’s your view? Are you a working mum, finding the job market to be tough and inflexible? Or perhaps a boss of a small business putting in extra hours to cover for a team member on maternity leave?