FTSE 100 companies still failing to increase ethnic diversity leadership: Britain’s top businesses must do more than just talk about change
News 24th July 2019 2 minutes read
Say hello to the Associate Partner of Green Park’s Interim CFO & Finance Practice, Holly Sayers. If you haven’t seen her around much, that’s because she’s been away on maternity leave. Now she’s back, bringing extensive experience in recruiting board and senior level roles into Commerce & Industry. We caught up with Holly to talk about her return to work after having her youngest son.
It didn’t take Green Park long to spot Holly’s talent: a Finance Interim professional with over 13 years’ experience in Executive Finance Interim Management, she ticked all the boxes for our growing Interim CFO & Finance Practice. Holly has worked with a host of FTSE-listed, privately-owned and private equity-backed organisations in the UK and internationally. With this kind of expertise, Green Park was happy to wait when Holly explained in her interview that she had fallen pregnant.
Stepping back into the workplace
Returning to work this July, Holly says she felt “mixed emotions”. But a smooth transition back into the workplace made all the difference.
“With a large family at home, having the right support from work was absolutely essential. I know other women who’ve found the return problematic, but personally, my experience has been good.”
Holly is now back full-time, working one day from home. She’s thankful for modern technology, which means she doesn’t have to be in the office every day from 9 to 5. She also appreciates that managers at Green Park are always open to discussion, so whether it’s remote working, a quiet space to check in on the family or flexible hours, she knows people will listen.
How industry thinking is changing
Many businesses still don’t make it easy for parents to return to work. However, there’s been a slow but distinct shift to a more progressive approach. Some are realising that the expense of recruiting afresh outweighs the cost of initiatives designed to keep or attract parent returners. Companies also seem to be placing greater value on recruiting ready-trained talent, with proven expertise.
Holly singles out Shell and Scottish Power for their Return-to-Work programmes. She also highlights some of the innovative approaches adopted by household names. One professional services firm provides ‘Mentor Moms’ – women who’ve been through the return-to-work transition and can support new returners. Meanwhile, a global accountancy firm gives new mothers ‘travel kits’ for work trips complete with a top-of-the-range breast pump. There’s also a major IT company that will have your breast milk shipped home via a concierge service. Missing your baby on business trips? One private equity firm will pay for your child and a nanny to travel with you, up to the child’s first birthday!
So, how would Holly like to see parent returners treated in an ideal world?
“All organisations would have the right support in place so parents can come back to a role they love. Whether that’s remote working or the option to change location, flexibility regarding hours or a good support network.”
Green Park supports all parent returners with parent-friendly policies and a culture that values talent.