Collaborative working is the key to economic growth
Tina.Freed / 27 Jan 2016
The UK faces exceptional challenges in the current financial climate; big corporations, SME’s and start-up businesses are functioning in a very tough economic climate. Now It’s more important than ever to fully capitalise on the skills and talents of all people, regardless of their gender.
Creating opportunity for all, raising aspirations and enabling people to maximise their talents together will help to develop economic growth. Today’s workforce is changing and is becoming more diverse, however further change is required to create wider national skills that can meet the demands of international markets. If not addressed, the UK could lose its competitive edge globally.
These days more families with young children are juggling the work-life challenge. There are some mothers who choose to stay at home to raise their family, however, there are increasingly more women who would like to return to their careers for one reason or another. Choices and opportunities should be available, regardless of the industry.
The UK economy needs contributions from both genders to grow, and currently there are 2.4 million women who are not working and want to work. Action is required to remove the barriers that currently restrict women from realising their full potential. At every stage of a woman’s career they should have the opportunity to learn skills, develop and contribute to a dynamic business environment. Businesses need a culture that embraces flexible working and provides better support for working parents. More support is required for women to set up their own businesses, as this will release some of the talent pipeline that has been limiting women from reaching the most senior levels in business.
Women in the middle stages of their working lives are looking to capitalise on their experience. This is also a time when many women tend to have children, and often experience a downward shift in rank. At this point factors such as how businesses manages talent, the cost and availability of childcare, and flexible working arrangements should be considered.
Another crucial area for development that requires a culture change is the provision of careers advice that is offered to young people and adults. Businesses, careers professionals and schools should work together to ensure increased access is available to high quality work experience. As part of this, employers should commit to ensure their graduates, trainees and apprentices visit local schools regularly to act as mentors or role models to share first-hand insights about the range of career opportunities available.
We know creating better business cultures attracts the best talent to organisations. Evidence has shown that businesses with a more diverse workforce are stronger performers, better at supporting individual needs, and more accustomed with their clients. The best employers and businesses are ahead of the game when adopting this mindset.
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