Slightly more than half of employers believe that having working mothers on the workforce boosts productivity, according to a survey commissioned by Regus. The finding suggests that enabling working mothers to participate in employment is a strong concern.
The survey was conducted by Mind Metre and involved senior managers and employers from 26,000 global businesses. Respondents were asked to identify which measures they believed to be essential in enabling mothers to return to the workforce.
The results showed that in New Zealand:
92% cited greater flexibility in terms of hours
86% cited greater flexibility in terms of location
80% identified teleworking, using video communications
73% cited near-site crèche facilities
64% identified job sharing
Interestingly, having more holidays was the least cited measure among respondents (48%). This appears to suggest that managers and employers are more focused on re-organising the workplace to suit mothers, rather than offering this sort of benefit.
“Yet the report suggests that many companies are not practising what they preach, with inflexibility in workplace attitudes and practices holding professional women back,” a UK Regus press release stated. Less than half of senior managers, for example, are encouraged to make the workplace more flexible and nearly three quarters acknowledge that they are more likely to perceive present workers as hard workers.
“There is a strong economic case for the greater inclusion of returning mothers in the workforce and this issue urgently needs to be addressed,” John Henderson, Asia-Pacific director – Regus, said.
“In order to take advantage of the huge untapped resource of working mums abilities, more needs to be done to support workplace arrangements that allow mothers to balance their work and family commitments,” he added.