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Women in the Workplace…both sides of the coin

June 23rd, 2005 · No Comments

In this month’s Family Circle magazine, they report on a US survey that says parents make better managers because they communicate well and can juggle multiple tasks.  "The everyday skills parents use at work and in raising children are constantly being finetuned and can make you a better employee and parent," they quote Neil Lebovits from Ajilon Office, the recruitment company that carried out the study.

More than half the women studied said knowing how to communicate was the top parenting skill that helped at work.  Parents were found to be better at resolving workplace conflicts.

Ranking second was the ability to multi-task.  Because parents can juggle priorities they seem to be more flexible when new projects arise at work and priorities shift.

On the down side, more than half the women polled agreed that balancing life and work was difficult.  "Having policies that will help employees stay engaged and challenged, while at the same time being a parent, will allow companies to better retain their top performers while maintaining a more productive and happy work environment," says Lebovits.

To us women busy with the balancing act – every day managing to keep all those plates spinning in the air – this is nothing new.  But I guess it’s nice to have validation of what we already knew.  I still believe that a lot of Australian companies have a long way to go to become more family friendly, but as the battle for skilled top performers who can contribute to the business continues to heat up, the companies who are doing the family friendly thing will be streets ahead of the competition.

EOWA Employer of Choice for Women is an accolade appearing on job adverts in the papers… basically it means that the company has passed a set of rigourous criteria to be selected as an employer of choice for women.  As they put it:

"Employers are reaping the benefits of their equal opportunity for women in the workplace programs through increased employee effectiveness, attracting and retaining the best talent, improved morale and increased consumer and market responsiveness."

There are currently only 115 organisations in Australia listed with EOWA as Employers of Choice for Women.  Take a look at the list here.  Whilst this can only be positive for women endeavouring to balance work and family life – this seems to me to be a very small number of companies. What about the rest of Australian workplaces??

What’s your take on this?

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