The roles of men and women are still very traditional, at least when it comes to child care: fathers work, mothers take care of the children. While women never stop working – they just switch from paid to unpaid and undervalued work – eventually, they want or have to get back to the professional world.
At the same time, more and more companies want to improve their diversity, have more women in their sector and also at the top. But to get more women at the top, you have to bring them (back) to work in the first place.
So first of all, you need to create opportunities for women to work in a way that caters to their needs since women are still the main caretakers. This can be achieved by offering better childcare solutions and enough part-time positions. While both measures have been discussed more than enough, actual solutions are still scarce or not thought through all the way. So how do you successfully bring women back to (paid) work?
Stuck in Traditional Roles
- Men typically remain in full-time work and women leaving full-time work
- Women often have to leave their jobs because companies refuse to offer flexible or part-time roles, leading to 60% of women never finding their way back to work after maternity
- Women suffer economically as a result of taking on childcare responsibilities
- Women risk becoming stuck in their job roles with limited career progression
- Not enough meaningful part-time positions
The Benefits of Bringing Women Back to Work
- According to experts, women are great communicators as they respond more effectively to visual, verbal, and emotional factors. With often strong communication and networking skills, they can encourage any collaborative or group work effort.
- Generally speaking, a very important skill is to be able to read between the lines and understand non-verbal messages. Women decode verbal cues and body language easily and this quality makes them very effective problem solvers.
- One thing, that made it easy for women to get stuck in the traditional stay-at-home-roles, is that women are givers. And that trait helps them to motivate others to excel in a stronger way than men.
- Tapping into the insight both men and women offer, can make products and services more marketable and a business more profitable.
- Enhanced ability of companies to attract talent and retain employees – why only tap into half of the talent pool?
- Research shows that inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.
- With outside pressure for increased diversity being on the rise, organizations can increase their acknowledgement and visibility by providing a more diverse workplace.
Empower by Re-/Upskilling
If studies show that women cannot find their way back into the roles they previously occupied, one has to think about re- or upskilling to get back to work. Many companies that have some required know-how, e.g. product or sector know-how, would be able to teach somebody with the right attitude and talent, even if they have no other prior knowledge of the topic. Re- and upskilling can definitely help to empower women after maternity.
For example, Salesforce and the Bring Women Back to Work program has a dedicated learning platform called Trailhead that people can register for free and follow suggested learning paths called trails and trailmixes to achieve a good amount of knowledge on Salesforce related problems.
Certifications are also available as well as instructor-lead classes and webinars that can help learners navigate through these topics and achieve their learning goals. Their learning curriculum has also been enriched with a series of seminars and workshop offered by their content partners which aim at increasing knowledge in topics such as new technology and sustainability. Equal care has been given to advancing soft skills with workshops that foster creativity, leadership, speaking, self-confidence and social branding.
Provide Real Opportunities
All re-/upskilling isn’t going to help if there aren’t any real opportunities. If there aren’t any part-time jobs, it doesn’t matter how well you’re trained. Opportunities have to be created.
The active community of Salesforce partners and customers have signed up for the program with the commitment to hire for attitude and train for skills. They have also agreed to offer roles ranging from 60% to 100% workload. These hiring partners are dedicated to hiring more diverse profiles based on what women can learn and not on what they know.
It Takes a Village – Create a Community
For many things in life, it actually does take a village. There are many parts that have to be in place, but there are also many players that can make a difference. A community – or village so to speak – will help in many ways:
- Women can exchange experiences and give each other invaluable tips. After all, who understands the problems of a woman dealing with getting back to (paid) work better than one that has gone through it or is farther along the process?
- Sharing is caring – women can help each other learn and understand learning materials better. The exchange of ways to look at or tackle things is also an enrichment.
- A community can increase chances of finding early-on mentoring or coaching.
- Word-of-mouth about opening positions: a woman working at a company might hear about a position opening up and can let others know.
- The community/network can prove helpful when applying to a position. Always good to know somebody that already works at the company you’re applying to.
The BWBW program has created a community where hiring partners, content partners, media partners, sponsors and participants have a platform to exchange and engage. Monthly calls, workshops, online and in-person events, newsletters, social media engagement are just some examples on how this community is actively communicating by sharing common driving values and an ambitious objective: to actively change the face of the Swiss workforce. The success of the program in Switzerland has paved the way for the program to now expand to Germany.
Did you miss the event? Don’t worry, you can watch the recording and still get all the knowledge shared during the Lunch & Learn!
Contact speaker Athena Blatsioti to learn more about her personal experiences with the program or the BWBW Team to enter apply for the program or to find the best way of being part of the community. Want to access the pool of talents as a company? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or apply over the website.
Check out the website of the program Bring Women Back to Work, that has been re-/upskilling women since 2020 and has committed hiring partners as well as a whole community eager to help.
WE SHAPE TECH is proud growth partner of the program.