Hi, Bev here, mum of two young "busy" children and the founder of allmumkind. The idea of allmumkind evolved after my decision to take a step away from my career, find a balance and develop my own business combining my experience, skills and number one priority, family. Up until recently I was a working mum in a very demanding job who thought I could "have it all"...... Having returned to work rather quickly after my second baby I was soon to realise I personally, "couldn't have it all" and my hunger and drive for a successful corporate career began to dwindle...... So here I am and my aim is to provide a network for mums who wish to share views and experience on their working life and career post motherhood. I hope you enjoy!
A study just published by the University of Oxford, has found that working women are found to suffer more stress than men with the jobs they juggle alongside motherhood.
Professor Daniel Freeman, a clinical psychologist of the University of Oxford says that the national mental health surveys show that women suffer with up to 20 to 40 percent more psychological orders than men each year.
Women today are expected to function as a carer, homemaker and breadwinner - alongside being perfectly shaped and groomed. Many women who experience these pressures, he suggest that this leads to psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. He goes on to say that men have higher rates of alcohol, drug and anger problems when dealing with stress today.
He explains that the environment we are simply living in today is putting pressure on the mental health of women, however he does emphasise that although the findings associate these problems to women, significant numbers of men men can suffer with anxiety and depression too.
Posted in News
Over the past five years, homeworking has risen by almost 15% and the majority of these flexible roles are occupied by women.
The south-east has witnessed the sharpest rise in homeworking, which is closely followed by Scotland and Wales.
Since 2007, up to half a million UK employees are now working from home and gender wise, over two thirds of these are men and more women are working towards homebased roles.
New home-working roles being created this year is mostly occupied by women as a large proportion of new roles are part-time, which is considered a new trend.
Although home-working is on the rise this figure doesn't include the percentage of workers who on "occasion" work from home over each year.
It has been feared that the recession would disrupt flexible working practices, however, with home-working on the rise, the TUC has confirmed that it has become an essential part of the UK labour market.
Technological progress has had an impact on the rise of home-working, as less face to face contact with colleagues or customers has enabled this.
There are major benefits for businesses and employees when working from home through costs, however lack of team cohesion and loneliness can play a demotivating part.
Posted in Flexible working
It was recently argued by the employment relations minister in the UK that our working practices and job structures have not changed over the years and are still stuck in the 1950's.
Jo Swinson suggests that there is a shortage of female representation in some sectors as traditional views of women and maternity leave contribute to women leaving their careers after having children.
During this economic climate we need more skills and talent to reach across entire workforces and many industries who are missing out on women's talent.
The employment relations minister is fully behind a "new shared parental leave system" which would grant families more flexibility. She suggests there could be more of a "mix and match" of parental care and this could encourage new ways for culture changes. This is positive news for the fathers who wish to be more involved, especially in the early years.
There are plans under way which are out with public consultation groups were the government intends to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees from April 2014 and then introduce a shared parental leave system from April 2015.
She is promoting such changes to organisations who, hopefully will begin to see the benefits of flexible talent and remove the barriers which are today really holding so many parents back.
Posted in Flexible working
Women choosing to stay at home with their families has decreased by nearly 50,000 as they more parents feel the pressure to return to work due to financial strain.
Interestingly, the unemployment figure for the UK between December and February hit its worst figure of 2.56m since 2011, this was also the highest peak the figures have seen as "stay-at-home-mums" felt the pressure to find work during this period.
The dramatic increase in figures published by the Office for National Statistics identified that it was almost entirely populated by women re-entering the labour market and being "unemployed" compared to the previous classification as "economically inactive".
The recent announcement of pension changes has seen over 30,000 women deciding not to retire and forcing many more to rethink retirement and start looking for work.
Part-time employment rose to over 20,000 and interestingly, no all occupied by parents as a high proportion of individuals being unable to seek full-time employment, opt for part-time work.
Posted in Flexible working
So why is our nation falling behind in supporting families in the workplace?
It has been pointed out that our access to affordable childcare and flexible working is just not good enough and makes returning to the workplace simply not desirable.
Our modern society in which we live, you would think, would make it more straight forward compared to decades ago to return to the workplace with our growing technology and modern culture values. Britain has now fallen behind our European neighbours as we have failed to capitalise on these opportunities.
During the 1990's, the number of women working was way ahead of our competitors, Germany and the Dutch - where we had affordable childcare and more flexible work. Unfortunately, we fell behind during the Labour decade and Germany and the Dutch overtook us as they continued to invest and participate in innovating support with more flexible opportunities, better childcare support and balanced parental arrangements. Britain began to fall behind with outdated labour regulations and commercial appetite.
What we have failed to invest in, is the continual moving with modern times and the priority to adapt flexibility within the workplace. Our business's cultures will continue to take time to catch up with childcare support and flexible working for both parents.
Helping parents to get into work and particularly enabling mothers to maintain skills will have a positive impact both on families and the country's finances. There are many good examples we can adopt from other countries who have reduced the barriers and increased participation. Although Britain is late to the game, there is no reason why we can't reform working practices, childcare provision and parental leave to the benefit of all. This should be a priority for the remainder of this parliamentary term. Then we can see a real rise in the participation of women in work.
Posted in Flexible working
Since the report published by Lord Davies' two years ago identified the 'lack of women on boards', the Engineers Employers Federation along with Lloyds Commercial Banking and Cranfield School have published a female Manufacturing Report. This report is the first of its kind to be published measuring the Manufacturing sector.
Within the FTSE 100, Manufacturing businesses make up just short of a third of companies. Amongst it's own sector, females account for nearly 20% of board positions, compared against the whole FTSE 100 which has around 17% representation. Although this appears to be an improvement within this particular sector, female talent still has a long way to go within Manufacturing anyway.
As a country we still 'lag' behind other European countries and there is research to support perhaps why? Engineering has undoubtedly eroded over the past decades and doesn't have the same parity of esteem as academic learning in Europe. There is still a long way to go with routes through vocational and apprenticeship methods. Equally, we have to highlight to females that a career in Engineering is accessible and attainable.
EEF urges a grassroots approach, with both government and businesses targeting girls at a younger age and doing more to highlight that manufacturing can be a modern, dynamic and high-tech sector that is not ‘just for boys’. Research from Engineering UK reveals that 91 per cent of young females effectively rule themselves out of an engineering career by not choosing triple science at the age of 14. A light-touch approach to careers guidance or ‘inspiration’ should begin in primary school, with more structured careers advice being available to young people in secondary school, including a face-to-face element.
EEF and its partners want to increase the number of young women learning science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, and see better promotion of vocational pathways including apprenticeships. The UK needs to continue to champion manufacturing but to specifically target young females who could become future leaders of our industry.
Posted in News
A recent survey carried out by Slater & Gordon found that many women experience a change to their job of some kind during maternity leave and even when returning to the workplace.
Around 1000 women took part in a poll which found that nearly 50% had a change to their jobs upon returning to work. 15% even found that their role had been removed completely whilst on maternity leave. The results go on to reveal that nearly 40% felt that their role had some degree of change when they returned and sadly 4% had their job ended through redundancy.
Surprisingly, many of the women questioned did not make an issue of any changes as they either didn't want to damage their career and future progression, some were actually unsure of their legal rights and unfortunately, some didn't know who to speak to.
Over 25% of the candidates in the poll declared that any flexible arrangements were declined and two fifths had applications blocked for part-time requests.
Samantha Mangwana, an employment lawyer at Slater & Gordon described the survey findings as “sad and shocking”.
“New mothers are especially vulnerable since it is often the first time they are wholly responsible for another life,” she said. “Yet, mothers continue to suffer unfairly when returning to work.
“It is against the law to be sacked or treated unfairly because you are pregnant or taking maternity leave. Be reassured that these legal protections are there – and they are strong.”
Posted in Legislation
Since the recession hit the UK market, women have experienced significant setbacks in the labour market.
Global firm PwC carried out research which found that the UK amongst the OECD countries, ranks 18th out of 27 on some key indicators of female economic empowerment - female unemployment rates, equal pay and the proportion of females in full or part-time work.
The report also found that results over the past decade have slipped back further with women in the UK less likely to be in work and experiencing lower job security and greater pay inequality since the recession in 2008.
Gaenor Bagley, head of people and executive board member at PwC, said: "The current workplace model is broken and does not provide enough flexibility. Without fundamental changes it is hard to see how any real progress can be made."
Posted in Juggle mummy!
Do you feel as though you never sit down? You are not alone. A recent study found that many working mums spend around 13 hours per day on the go.
If you are trying to balance a domestic life with working you could be on the go 65 hours per week. With the growing demands of raising a family and keeping up with financial responsibilities you could be on the go for at least 13 hours a day to keep plate spinning at work and home.
From the 2000 women questioned in the survey, three quarters admitted they rarely sit to eat breakfast and dinner. The day starts around 6.45 for most with no rest until at least 9pm when all the chores are complete. Sounds familiar?
Posted in Juggle mummy!
The rising cost of childcare has doubled in parts of Britain over the last decade.
Full-time nursery fees for a family can cost up to around £11,000. This figure has been compared to private school fees. Parents have raised concerns that it is almost similar to paying a second mortgage.
Many families are finding it a strain to manage with the demand of such increasing costs alongside living expenses too. Costs for a child under 2 has risen above an inflation rate of 4.2 percent, which is just under £110 per week for 25 hours. Even after school clubs fees are rising and would now cost around £50 for a 15 hour a week support mechanism.
Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust and the Family and Parenting Institute said: 'The survey makes clear that, from a parent's perspective, costs are increasingly difficult to manage which is a finding that should concern us all.
'Families are being expected to pay more for their child's nursery place - an average of £14,000 per year in London - than the fees for many private schools - and this cannot continue.'
The survey regularly asks local authorities to report the price that parents pay for different forms of childcare in their area.
The government is still tackling the problem which is stalled by the coalition not agreeing on reforms. There still needs more support from the coalition.
Posted in Legislation