Are you looking for flexible work? Perhaps you are one of the many women who find themselves in flexible work purely through negotiating it when they come back from maternity leave. It can then be hard to find a new position that is at the same level and offers the flexibility you have in your current job. You’re not alone. Workingmums.co.uk’s latest survey shows that some 33% feel “trapped” in the job they went back to from maternity leave.
Or maybe you have recently been made redundant from a flexible position. How do you go about finding another when there are few jobs advertised at the moment and almost none of them mention the possibility of flexible working in the job spec?
It was that kind of conundrum that spurred Gillian Nissim to set up Workingmums.co.uk in 2006 from her kitchen table. She herself had two small children and had had an application for flexible working turned down. She wanted to build a forum which would bring together professional working mum with years of experience and skills and family friendly employers who could offer them the flexibility they needed.
She was all too aware of the huge waste of talent that resulted from women dropping out the of system because they found working full time (or more than full time) and balancing family responsibilities on top of that too draining or because they found working part-time in jobs which didn’t draw on their skills and which were paid at a level which did not reflect their experience demoralising.
The site not only offers family-friendly jobs across the UK and is free to jobseekers, but it also has a host of expert advice, including employment law advice, and interviews with women who are working flexibly in all sorts of sectors or even setting up their own businesses.
In the last two years Workingmums.co.uk has moved out into the community it serves, hosting a series of events aimed at highlighting good practice in flexible working and bringing women and family friendly employers into face to face contact. Today, 27 March, the second Workingmums LIVE London event takes place. There are more than 40 companies exhibiting at the event, including John Lewis, Network Rail and Hobbs, a franchise zone for women wanting to set up their own franchise business plus a range of other support organisations will be around to talk to working mums.
In addition, there is a full programme of seminars on everything from business mentoring and negotiating flexible working to working for yourself. Speakers include Jennifer Howze, co-founder of BritMums, on using social media to market your own business. And there are one to one CV and employment law clinics for people to get personal advice.
The event also sees the launch of Workingmums.co.uk’s new Business Zone which aims to give working parents all the tools they need to start up their own business or franchise.