Simple question: Do you care more about the hours spent at the office, or how well the job gets done?
Shouldn’t people be evaluated on their performance rather than the amount of time they spend at their desk? (Half of the time your full-timers are on Facebook anyway, right?!)
Bosses in Singapore are recognising the benefits of hiring female professionals who wish to return to work after giving birth. Why? Well, some of the reasons they cited for targeting this demographic included the valuable skills these mothers hold. Just think about the majority of moms you know. They are smart and ambitious, and the majority of them have worked their way up the corporate ladder before they had kids and has the same drive and skills to succeed as before.
Truth is, most moms would love to work outside the home but can’t find a job that allows them the flexibility they need. However, fact is that many a business call have been made from an elementary school pick up and numerous emails have been answered while waiting for soccer practise to end. It can be done.
So, are employers in South Africa missing out on perhaps one of our greatest resources?
Here are a few reasons why women with kids will be an asset to your business: They’re organised and experts at time management. They defy physics with creative planning. You’ll get someone who can think through the logistics of a project and pull it together in record time without missing a beat. They give 100% all the time because they ‘re working fewer hours and have very little time for water-cooler conversations.
Moms are dedicated experts at multitasking, negotiating and managing conflict. They have strong instincts and will instinctively know when something is just not right. Her innate ability to read nonverbal cues could make all the difference in winning over both colleagues and business prospects. And, of course, because they’re in a parenting frame of mind, they have a heightened focus on “doing the right thing”. Their ability to listen and nurture the ideas of others and leading through collaboration are all 21st century leadership traits. Isn’t that what you’d want on your team?
The benefits far outweigh the logistical hiccups. True, scheduling meetings may take some extra effort, but remember that with modern technology, it is always possible to reach anyone in an emergency.
Studies show that companies with women as leaders, are more profitable. So, ultimately when you’re recruiting you should focus on the skills and experience you need rather than the gender, age, or working hours of a potential employee. But, remember, in order to retain these valuable employees, it is critical to offer some level of flexible working.
So, employers, maybe the next time you’re hiring, look beyond the time-clock and see the talent. Isn’t it time to utilize their skills while meeting their need for flexibility?