The Glass Ceiling Still Exists. What Do You Do As A Working Mother?

Forbes has published its first global list of Female Friendly Workplaces. About time is what I say. We have had every kind of list going and now Forbes is shining a light on the very real issue of women in the workplace and the inequity they have to endure.

I have always been puzzled by the fact that half the world’s population is female and yet issues that affect this half have always somehow been deemed less important. This literally makes my brain hurt because women now make up the majority of the graduate workforce so you would think employers will come up with clever works to engage this majority. But, that is not the case. Retaining female talent seems to be beyond the wit of man. (pun intended.)

Why this hurts my brain is that everyone knows it is more expensive to recruit than to retain talent. So why oh why will employers go to all that trouble and expense of recruiting female talent and then watch them slip through their fingers? It just doesn’t make sense!

Until, that is, you examine workplace practices and understand that there is a helplessness about it. The thinking is why bother? They are going to leave when you most need them anyway so why invest in them? Leave? I am trying desperately not to get on my high horse here but here goes:

What about they are responding to the biological imperative that keeps the human race going? That they are responding to a bigger social responsibility to ensure that when we are old and decrepit, someone is there paying our pensions and keeping our streets clean.

Society cannot function without someone paying the price of sacrificing their body for at least 9 months at a time to grow another human to come up with our next invention to make life easier. That someone happens to be a woman. The cost of the production of this rather essential resource of another human needs to be shared responsibility. Penalising women for producing this very important resource that allows our race to continue just doesn’t make sense.

Societies should be awakened to accept the cost of production of another human as a shared responsibility. Policies and systems should be put in place to support the women who produce these children, a precious commodity. Forbes publishing a female friendly workplace list is a great start. This will allow female talent to gravitate towards the employers that will value their contribution and support them to contribute towards the collective objective of making sure our pensions are paid.

Grupo Argos, the Colombian company that tops the list, believe it or not is in the rather male dominated industry of oil and gas. This is heartwarming because they made an intentional choice to value their women in a male dominated industry and succeeded. If they can do it, any organisation can.

This should give hope to all working mothers out there, currently burning themselves out and despairing. Things are changing, Forbes is publishing a useful list that is being looked at globally. Countries are now looking at this and evaluating their standing in the list. The countries topping the list are the US, followed by France with the UK in 3rd position.

John Lewis, the first UK company makes it to number 5 in the global list with the next company Sainsbury at number 27. Both these companies are in the retail sector which tends to have a high percentage of women anyway. But, here is the silver lining, if a company like Grupo Argos, in a male dominated sector like oil and gas can top the global list, that is our silver lining.

We are now being taken seriously, are you as a working mother going to hang in there until the tide changes or are you going to give up? My advice is, find ways to look after your wellbeing, and start applying to those companies in the list. Go where you are valued and when you become a decision maker, give back by making sure there are women friendly policies.

If you want to find out how to stop burning out and giving up on your career because it is all too hard, click here and let’s have a chat.