How small firms could have the edge with females

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Small businesses could be in a better position to attract and retain female employees than their larger counterparts, according to an article in the Guardian.

Unlike many bigger companies which some may argue have ingrained policies and little flexibility, small businesses that factor things such as maternity leave and flexible working into their business plan from early on could prove to be an attractive choice for women.

This is especially important as more and more females speak out about the discrimination they have faced after having a child. Indeed, a study by law firm Slater & Gordon found that more than a quarter of mothers feel they are the target of unfair prejudice while pregnant or on their return to work after having a child.

Research also revealed that more than half of women questioned felt their boss’s attitude to them changed once they had announced their pregnancy and request for forthcoming maternity leave.

As a result, many women who have experienced such negativity directly have advised mothers-to-be to wait until the last possible moment to tell their manager that they are expecting. 

The consequences otherwise may be rather severe, as 60 per cent of women agree that they felt their pregnancy became problematic for the workplace – with more than a quarter saying they were under pressure to return to work sooner.

This is where small businesses could gain the upper hand, as they are in a better position to be agile, flexible and work with employees to create a good working environment for all.

By putting staff members at the heart of work policies, there’s a higher chance that they will benefit from greater staff retention. At Crunch Accounting, for example, managers are in the process of setting up a creche so mothers can bring their children to work with them.

Offering flexible working is another great solution that many small business can easily implement. By allowing mothers to work from home, they can easily take care of their parental and job-related responsibilities at the same time.

If small businesses show they care, employees are likely to give more back – now’s the time to check that your staff are at the heart of your businesses.

Posted by the Secret Businessman