Laudale were recently fortunate enough to attend an event jointly ran by nationwide campaign Working Forward which calls on UK businesses to make workplaces the best they can be for pregnant women and new parents.
The event was co-hosted by a brilliant support group, Pregnant then Screwed, and we were just one of hundreds of businesses who signed a pledge to commit to making a real difference to the experiences of pregnant women within our organisation. But why did we do it, and why would we encourage other businesses to do the same?
It’s a no-brainer as far as we’re concerned that if businesses empower their employees to be able to talk openly and honestly about pregnancy, maternity, paternity, or even fertility treatment or adoption, that it will build trust in the organisation and demonstrate that it cares about its employees. An open, honest and trusting environment is what employees want to see in their companies in any case, but encouraging this around such life-changing events and ensuring employees feel genuinely supported is invaluable.
There are also obvious business benefits in committing to flexible working, family friendly policies and thinking creatively about working patterns, as this affords the opportunity not only to retain talent but also to attract and recruit it too.
So, why did we sign the pledge?
We see first-hand the challenges faced by working parents every day, as well as the opportunities and benefits when employers make parents’ lives easier. Our core business involves helping clients to appoint technology and transformation leaders. It’s a space which is still dominated by men for many reasons, but partly due to the lack of options for women returning to work and the failure of many businesses to adopt flexible working.
It’s not just within our client work where we see this issue. Recruitment (including exec search, interim management firms, etc…) is synonymous with long hours, often tied to a desk, and often in a high-pressure environment. By the same token the industry isn’t currently synonymous with flexible or agile working and, like plenty of other sectors, it can be difficult for ‘returners’. This is where signing the pledge is very important to us – we’ve seen too many talented people struggle to pick up where they left off prior to becoming a parent through no fault of their own.
Laudale is a business that happens to be made up entirely of working parents, two of whom have returned to work after having children, and one who took 5 years out to raise children before returning to work and joining Laudale. We promote flexible working, some of our team are part-time, and we encourage open and honest discussion about maternity, pregnancy and the support needed to successfully juggle a career and the demands of family life. We’re not claiming to be ground-breaking, this is just who we are, but it’s also exactly what Working Forward and the pledge is all about. If by talking about what we do, we encourage just one business to sign the pledge and commit to better support for working parents then we’re all for that.
Are you an experienced recruitment professional and working parent looking for a different approach? We’re always on the lookout for talented colleagues
Why not talk to us about your next career move?