The obstacles facing some women returning from an extended period away from work can be insurmountable.
Not everyone returning to work or seeking flexible working hours is a woman or a parent. There are dads, retired individuals and city high flyers who want to work in a different way but it’s important to keep in mind that being a parent is a fact of life for more than 80% of employees – men and women. Another fact of life is that it is the woman in the majority of cases that stays at home in the early years.
Our generation of women are typically those who hold the belief that we can have it all but we have our own challenges too in that we have to be on the go 24/7. It takes a lot more effort, discipline and organisation to maintain a successful work/life balance. For women returning to work with young children, we need to be flexible and workplaces have to help by doing the same.
Can a woman who leaves her career to have children really expect to get back into the workforce at a similar level? Unfortunately the answer is not very often and certainly not without compromising on her other commitments. Something’s got to give.
Managing a career and a family poses many hurdles so loving your job and feeling fulfilled goes a long way towards happiness. Working for an inflexible employer with a culture where employees are expected to show their faces for long hours every day results in guilt, stress and constantly feeling torn between family and work commitments and not doing a very good job at either.
Increasing numbers of agile and innovative employers are changing their approach to finding new talent, and are focusing more on output achieved, rather than the time it took to get there. Employers are recognising that a bit of flexibility could go a long way in keeping the right people.
A New Approach
E2W is one such company that recognised the challenges faced by women in particular and established a business model that allows their staff the flexibility to meet their career and family ambitions.
We run our business part-time in its entirety – so no individual needs to work more than 25 hours a week; output has not been affected in line with this reduction as we have found the flexibility on offer encourages productivity.
Hundreds of financial services experts in London, Zurich, New York and Singapore have been able to return, continue and extend their careers thanks to E2W, without compromising the aspirations and responsibilities of family life.
We have recruited many highly-skilled women with extensive ‘City’ experience in financial services, who simply had no outlet for their skills and experience that was compatible with the lifestyle it demanded. This has given them an opportunity to continue to work and develop their careers, after their previous employers had invested thousands in their development and training only to lose them due to the practical problems of balancing work and life responsibilities.
Our employees feel valued and respected for their contribution and benefit from the inclusive model. It has furthermore been proven that the inclusive workplace is good for business performance.
E2W’s own management team is made up of successful women who joined E2W to achieve their own work-life balance and have developed and grown with us. The E2W model gives women another option: the opportunity to continue their careers and provide valuable input back into the industry.