Mums@Work is a new initiative providing mums the opportunity to return to the workplace in a flexible manner. Louise Karim, Managing Director, says that the value and talent that mums bring to business merits supporting them in their path back to the workplace and helping them achieve a perfect balance between motherhood and career.
In the not so distant past, women had children and upon returning to work were often made to compromise between their family and work responsibilities. With more women having children in their late 20’s and early 30’s and focusing on their careers earlier on in their lives, thereby establishing years of invaluable professional experience, it is a mystery why companies are so hesitant to employ women just because they are mums.
On average, 77 percent of mothers in the UAE who have taken time out from their careers to have children are keen to get back to work, according to a recent survey we conducted in association with YouGov. Why is it though that so many of these mums, who are ready to return to the working world, are finding suitable employment opportunities so difficult?
Out of the mums we surveyed – 38 percent stated it was difficult to juggle family and workplace commitments due to a lack of flexibility in the workplace. This inflexibility of companies is causing businesses to lose out on one of the biggest untapped talent pools this region has to offer. Until now, the region hasn’t placed a focus on flexible or part-time working, but luckily that is all beginning to change.
Backed by one of the largest independent recruitment firms in the GCC – Mackenzie Jones and inline with the UAE’s commitment to gender equality and diversity, as outlined by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Mums@Work is the first company of its kind in the Middle East, focused on helping mums to revitalise their careers and connect them to employers offering flexible working across the region.
Mums@Work offers the perfect solution; an answer to mothers struggling to find suitable employment, while bringing significant savings to employers, who can hire employees on a part-time as opposed to a full-time basis.
At Mums@Work we have been meeting with multinationals, local companies and SME’s to discuss ways they can become more appealing to working mums by offering flexible working schemes. By offering such opportunities, such as remote working or flexitime, businesses can have their pick of talent, while mums can comfortably split their time between the home and office.
The main conflict behind the low employment rate of mums is a lack of education in the benefits mums can bring to the workplace. Mums@Work prides itself on delivering in-depth education and statistics that highlight the proven benefits. We not only speak to the candidates to find out their criteria for roles, but we also speak to businesses, to ensure a perfect match.
More than 50 percent of working mums we surveyed said the most important factor they evaluate in a business is their working culture and whether they would be a good fit. Having a family at home means that working mums aren’t as easily adaptable as a single adult, which can be an issue for businesses, but it’s addressing these issues and finding the flexible options that can provide a win-win solution.
It’s not just the inflexibility of companies that is proving a barrier for mums getting back into work. Again, a lack of education in the legalities of working visas means new mums are missing out on employment opportunities.
Mums@Work not only connects candidates with clients – we go way beyond this; by guiding, mentoring and ensuring that women have the skills and confidence to achieve the jobs they want. Mums@Work also looks at external factors, such as suitable childcare options, so mums embark on their new role with peace of mind.
We also offer a Careerhub, which is an informative online portal to help ease women back into work. On this platform, mums can read articles written by the experts on getting back into work or hear advice from women in the same position. It provides an insight to those looking to have children, to find out the opportunities available for them post pregnancy, as well as providing mums with the tools to learn new skills or refresh old ones, in areas such as networking and
Gone are the days when women have to choose between family and their careers. By changing perceptions, educating employers and assisting women looking to work, Mums@Work hopes to revolutionise the way companies employ and view working mothers. The countless benefits include an improved economy and a stronger, more diverse work force.