Flexible working key to keeping returning mums in the workforce

Mar 07 2014, 01:54 IST
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Working mums bring valuable skills and expertise, say 73% of Indian businesses. Working mums bring valuable skills and expertise, say 73% of Indian businesses.
SummaryStudy says 75% of Indian firms that wonít employ women returning from maternity leave are missing out.

In a warning of sorts, a study by Regus confirms that mind-sets are rapidly changing in the Indian corporate world as far as women are concerned. Study says 75% of Indian firms that wonít employ women returning from maternity leave are missing out - Regus canvassed the opinions of more than 19,000 business owners and senior managers in 98 countries.

This really buttresses a trend revealed by Sheryl Sandberg in her book, Lean in: ďA truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.Ē

The study confirms that flexible hours, working closer to home and the option to video conference instead of travelling at least some of the time are among the top strategies to get more mothers back into the workforce.

Far from returning with an obsolete address book and a rusty memory, working mums bring valuable skills and expertise, say 73% of Indian businesses.

Respondents reported that flexible hours, working closer to home and the option to video conference instead of travelling at least some of the time are among the top strategies to get more mothers back into the workforce.

Sahil Verma, Chief Operating Officer - India, Regus says: ďWith reports highlighting that the non-participation of women in the economy is costing as much as 27% per capita GDP in some countries, and that companies with more women on the board are more profitable, it is high time that businesses address the issue of how to adapt working practices to better suit working mothers."

HIGHLIGHTS

∑ 71% of Indian respondents report that more women are demanding to work remotely when they return to the workforce;

∑ Perhaps due to increasing financial pressures, 58% of thse surveyed say they are seeing women take shorter maternity leave (under 3 months);

∑ 68% say working closer to home is a key incentive;

∑ 38% report that the option to video conference instead of travelling would help returning mothers.

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