Small businesses are missing out on skilled women, research shows
Research from professional recruitment consultancy Robert Walters has shown that small businesses are missing out on skilled women, with just 12 per cent having a strategy in place to attract women returning to work after a career break.
However, businesses were found to be helping professionals returning from a break maintain a better work-life balance, with 64 per cent offering flexible hours, or the chance to work partly from home, and 70 per cent offering part-time work.
According to the whitepaper from Robert Walters', Attracting, Developing and Retaining Women Returning to the Workforce event, which is part of the company’s Empowering Women in the Workplace campaign; SMEs should recognise the transferable skills that women, who have taken a break, can bring to the workplace.
The report revealed the steps that women took following a break, with 25 per cent pursuing education, 23 per cent volunteering for charity and 22 per cent setting up their own business.
Attendees at the workforce event agreed that businesses should be open to flexible working, particularly for those who are returning to work.
Robert Walters Associate Director Janine Blacksley commented: “Women who have taken a break from their career, often to start a family, but also for a host of other reasons, represent a valuable source of talent.”
She said that in addition to the experience and skills that these professionals have developed in the course of their career, many will have developed additional skills during their break.
Ms Blacksley also stated that only a small number of SMEs are adopting strategies to attract female professionals, and that failing to do this might result in them missing out on valuable talent.