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Motherhood and workplace commitments do not have to clash with flexible working

Jim Warren, flexible working

Jim Warren

Managing Director, Careers for Mums

The Affordable Childcare Scheme looks to readdress some of the highest childcare costs in OECD countries. But what more can be done to tap into the skills and experience of the mums of Ireland?

“Both my wife and I had benefitted hugely from the flexi-time afforded to her after the birth of our first-child.

The impact a considerate employer can have on your life is massive. For example, a two day reduction in her working week and the option to work from home really helped. This has enabled her to establish a work/life balance that continues to work really well for us today.

“Whilst enjoying these flexi-work benefits, we noticed many friends/colleagues did not receive the same flexibility from their employers. In addition, they didn’t know where to look to identify companies/roles that offer those all important flexible working arrangements. The responsibilities of parenthood and working life do not have to be so adversarial.

“So we saw an opportunity. A few years later after some hard graft and some (thankfully) generous donations, the company was born. The principle idea of www.careersformums.ie is an online platform to showcase flexible roles that would be appealing to mums either looking for a transition back into work or those looking to find a more suitable role with greater flexibility. The roles range from senior executives downward; from part-time to flexi-time roles, fixed term contracts to project work, job share, maternity cover and working from home. There are also some full-time positions but the majority of roles come under the ‘flexible banner’.

Mums just need the right opportunity

“Our aim is to access the untapped market of highly skilled, experienced mums looking for the right opportunity. From here, we create a platform to present the many roles with companies who value the employment opportunity of mums. This was all put together in one easy-to-use site.

“The site plays host to a range of other features. These include advice on how to best prepare for a return to work. Or tailored advice to CV/recruitment processes and case studies on mums who are currently working with their desired work/life balance. Working alongside www.alison.com, returning mums can work at their own pace to achieve their own goals. Alison provide free online education for those looking to reskill or upskill

“Despite the opportunity to tap into a skilled and experienced workforce, there is maybe still a slight cultural resistance from indiginous Irish companies as opposed to those with international operations/bases.

Potentially this is a result of a more traditional view of employment from Irish companies but there are ever encouraging signs of increased perceptions of value for flexible working: especially for mums.

“It doesn’t stop here as we are looking ahead to the addition of an agency arm to the business in January 2018 as a response to an inundation of requests from users to personally help find employment – something we are extremely excited to be part of. With increased flexibility to both employer and potential employee we continue to strive to help mums back into ideal employment. A continuation of these efforts and the forward thinking we’ve seen from companies so far, will allow Ireland’s un-tapped pool of talented mums to be comfortable, confident and to excel in the workplace.”

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