Major property firms have endorsed a new online platform that has been launched to connect new mums with family friendly employers.
Endorsed by industry bodies such as Urban Land Institute and with major employers such as Knight Frank and Gerald Eve on the platform, The Daisy Chain aims to help working mums get back on the employment ladder and tackle gender inequality in the workplace.
According to research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, as many as 54,000 women lost their jobs in 2016 due to maternity discrimination. One in five mothers experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies and the parliamentary women and equalities select committee have both cited a lack of flexible working options for mothers returning to work as a key contributor to the gender pay gap.
Additionally, losses to the wider economy from mothers being kept out of work are significant, with a major OECD study earlier this year estimating growth in the 35 OECD nations would increase by 20% over the next 20 years if female workforce participation was equivalent to that for men.
Many firms are already taking action, with 122 financial services firms representing almost half the sector signing the Women in Finance Charter committing to ambitious targets on improving female representation at senior levels. Platforms like The Daisy Chain can assist these efforts by focusing on one of the most prominent barriers to equal employment.
Louise Deverell-Smith, founder and director of The Daisy Chain, said, “After working in recruitment I became more aware that many mums were missing out on employment due to employers not being flexible to mum’s needs, especially when it comes to childcare. There are plenty of family-friendly, flexible companies that have signed up to The Daisy Chain that are keen to take on new mums.”
The Daisy Chain is free for mums, and allows them to match and connect with employers to enhance their careers and work-life balance. Mums can register and provide information about their likes, interests and what they are looking for in a role, with the site running a ‘no CVs’ system to make it easier for users.
Mums are then matched to potential family-friendly employers who can then get in touch. Crucially, mums can state their availability, staying in control of their time and keeping the flexibility that is essential for new parents.
Louise Deverell-Smith, founder and director of The Daisy Chain, said, “I know how hard it is going back to work having had a baby, not to mention just going to work in the morning and dealing with the feelings you may have about whatever ‘mum’ issues arise. So in addition to our match + connect service, working mums can also find helpful advice from our Daisy Chain contributors, including our fashion stylist, confidence coach, fitness and nutritionist expert, to help new mums readjust.”
Paul Hawtin, UK HR executive director at CBRE, said, “CBRE are passionate about pro-actively supporting women and their careers. This is demonstrated by our Women’s Network which has supported the career advancement of our women for over 11 years. We are committed to making sure our people feel supported and empowered to perform at their best and to attract a diverse range of talent into the business. We are delighted to support platforms such as The Daisy Chain which plays a key role in providing those opportunities.”