I find it incredible in today’s agile working environment that talented experienced women find it difficult to get back into a corporate career that allows them to blend work and family life.
I’ve previously shared a list of recruitment agencies and job boards that focus on flexible working. However we know that most posts don’t get as far as being advertised so you need to use your network to nurture relationships, whether that’s on LinkedIn or otherwise, in order to hear about the unadvertised positions. And yes I know, networking when you are an introvert can be challenging. If that’s you, you might like the tips I shared two years ago on how to enjoy networking even if you’re an introvert.
But how do you know who to connect with on LinkedIn? Aside from the obvious i.e. friends, former work colleagues, people you’ve met through networking or volunteering, if you’re a smart intelligent woman, you’re probably looking for a more strategic approach.
In which case, it makes sense to start to build and nurture relationships with contacts who work for employers who are taking positive action to offer a family friendly work environment.
Your first step then is to identify those employers. And that’s where I’ve done some of the research for you, reviewing employers who have won awards or been recommended to me.
A global management consulting firm with UK offices in Leatherhead and London. Part of Marsh & McLennan Companies. The firm was included in the 2015 list of Top Employers for Working Families by charity Working Families.
International law firm Pinsent Masons won a special award Best for Modern Families in the 2016 list of Top Employers for Working Families. The nomination informs us “Family support is available to all employees and 24 per cent of employees work flexibly. Project Sky addresses gender imbalance at all levels and the company is now de-stigmatising working less than standard hours by promoting the concept that flexible working can be for everyone.”
When I checked their Careers portal, I noticed a variety of full-time and part-time roles.
International management consultant reports that their Working Parents Transitions Programme has attracted over 70% of new mothers. As a result, the number of mothers leaving after their return from maternity leave has fallen to 8.3%.
Sacker & Partners LLP
UK’s leading commercial law firm for pension scheme trustees, employers and providers, Sackers is based in the City of London, with just 52 lawyers. Flexible working is widespread, and at senior levels too, and the firm has put measures in place to ensure that flexible working does not damage career development. There is a clear emphasis on their website that working parents are welcomed, including business coaching for lawyers returning from maternity leave and an internal maternity mentoring programme.
Based in Cambridge, this website designer offers flexible working, term-time only if you so desire. However it is a small company and therefore vacancies may be few and far between.
Allen & Overy LLP
This international law firm offers flexible working to all UK staff through its iFlex programme. Of interest to lawyers, Peerpoint is Allen & Overy’s global, flexible resourcing business. It provides the opportunity for experienced, top-tier lawyers to work as consultants on contract in high quality legal placements with Allen & Overy teams and for clients directly. Peerpoint consultants work in a variety of ways: on full time placements with clients, part-time working with A&O practice groups or undertaking short term contracts. 64% of the Peerpoint panel are women.
This is just a handful of the employers who offer flexible working and a family friendly work environment. I will add to this list over time. Many of the larger employers now offer Returnships or Return to Work programmes.
I’d love to have your recommendations for employers to add to the list.
Are you looking for that elusive job role that combines flexible working with the intellectual challenge that you love? Need some help? Get in touch (you can book a call <HERE>) and let’s have a chat to see whether The Confident Mother Experience is for you.