New research by global workplace provider, Regus, has revealed that 26% of businesses are planning to hire more returning mothers in 2015 than in 2014. The global study surveyed more than 44,000 senior business people across more than 100 countries.
Returning mothers play an important role in the overall economy by contributing to boosting GDP through increased female participation in the labour force. But the contrasting demands of motherhood and work are one of the main reasons women drop out of the workforce. To combat this phenomenon, respondents globally emphasised the important role flexible working plays in attracting female talent; in fact, 83% of respondents believe that flexible working is key to attracting and retaining women workers.
The research also highlights that returning mothers are particularly valued by businesses globally because of their experience and skillset, as well as reliability and excellent time management. Additionally, returning mothers are seen as less likely to change jobs, saving firms the cost of recruitment and re-training. Previous Regus research further confirms that 57% of businesses think that retaining working mothers helps improve productivity as training costs are lower than hiring new employees.
To summarise, key findings are:
- Over a quarter of firms report they will be hiring more returning mothers in 2015
- Returning mothers are valued for their experience and skills (55%) and are seen as more reliable (30%) and organised (31%) than regular staff
- Returning mothers were also reported to be very hardworking (23%) and to be more caring workers (23%).
- Professionals globally also value working mother’s drive to prove their worth (28%).
Commenting on the research, Dr. Nirmal De Silva, Country Manager at Regus Sri Lanka 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 workforce and offer returning mothers a way back into the workforce. The benefits to businesses are clear: less staff turnover, lower hiring and training costs and access to talented staff. But businesses warn that 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”.
He further added, “With reports suggesting that if the number women in the workforce reached the same as that of men national GDP growth could be up to 10% higher , the case for increasing flexible working is very strong. Add to that the value placed on returning mothers by businesses and it is evident that businesses need to reassess their use of flexible working to attract top female talent.”