The Mummy Problem

David Farmer our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 5/23/2016 11:52 AM
As a manager of a recruitment business, I am often called into meetings with organisations to discuss the challenge of attracting a diverse workforce. The expectation of us as an agency being to ensure we are doing as much as we can to create a diverse shortlist.

What strikes me about this is that as a supplier, we will be rewarded for sourcing candidates for these roles, so it is firmly in our interest to make sure we send the best candidate, no matter what sex, nationality or age. Also, positive discrimination (Affirmative action in the USA) is not legally acceptable in the UK, and therefore asking agencies to present diverse shortlists will potentially lead to more discrimination, rather than less.
Equally, I think that looking at the supply of candidates to solve the diversity problem is potentially looking in the wrong direction, and instead companies need to look at some of the things that they do, that prevent them from attracting a diverse pool of candidates.

There is a common trend in the meetings I attend. We work in a technical market where entry is dominated by men and where many clients struggle to attract women into management and senior management roles, and this is where I think that organisations are causing their own issues – namely the “Mummy problem”.

First and foremost, let me clear up any potential for accusations of sexist generalisations – the problem should be considered a “parent problem” rather than a “mummy problem”, but the challenge does seem to disproportionately impact the female workforce more than their male counterparts, so please forgive my use of this phrase.

The parent trap

The following example highlights exactly what I mean:

Chatting to a friend recently, she asked me for some advice. She was in the advanced stages of an interview process and liked the company. She has one child and was thinking of a second in the future. She had asked the organisation in question to send through their benefits package and had been sent it, but it didn’t include the parental leave policy. Her concern was that if she went back to the company to ask for this then she would immediately damage her candidacy, so she wanted to see if there was a way she could find out what their policy was without asking.

My advice was simple – ask them for it. If they’re not willing to share it with you or it does damage your chances of securing the role, then you don’t want to work for them anyway.

In this situation, the company in question sent it through to her, and all ended well with a job offer and a new role, but that’s not the issue at hand – the problem is her perception in the first place.

How many other female candidates withdraw from processes because they haven’t wanted to ask for a maternity policy? The lack of information available on these policies without asking directly for it seems very poor.

Had my friend not had the confidence to ask, the company would have missed out on someone they clearly wanted to hire based on her misconception.

Transparency is key

As far as I can see, the issue isn’t exclusively with externally advertising the policies. In researching this piece, I spoke to a client within a FTSE 50 company. She shared with me that she had been looking to leave that business to secure a role with better maternity benefits as the published policy suggested that she would only be entitled to statutory maternity pay and she was worried that if she asked anyone internally if this was the case, she would then be looked at differently.

It was only when she had found a potential role and approached a friend in their HR team about a question on notice period that she had an off-the-record conversation about the fact she was looking and was made aware of the fact that she was actually on an enhanced maternity package. She stayed in the business.

So we find ourselves in a situation where (some) female candidates don’t want to ask the question, and female employees don’t either. Either way, this should serve as a wakeup call for many organisations that they clearly must do more to communicate parental leave policies.

In my eyes, if these two examples are indicative of the norm, then the solution for companies is simple – it all comes down to communication…

Knowledge is power

Detail your parental leave policy in your benefits package. Almost all the packages we see from organisations have a thorough breakdown of all potential benefits, however barely any has any detail regarding parental leave. Companies, of course, want to hire people who will spend many years in the business, but in my eyes, they’re simply not doing enough to show what that would involve.

As a new father, I know just how important these conversations of maternity and paternity leave are when considering children, so companies need to consider this when selling roles to potential hires.

One thing I have reflected on when writing this – is there a reason for companies to be secretive on parental leave policy? Is there a fear of other organisations learning these benefits? Is the fear that employees will feel hard done by at a junior level when their policy is not enhanced? I haven’t been able to pinpoint the answer, and whilst I have asked a number of people about this, and can’t find a conclusive theme, I would appreciate people’s thoughts.

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

The Next Generation Of French Web Analysts

The Next Generation Of French Web Analysts

The role and purpose of Web Analysts has evolved over the last few years, and now there are a number of different types of candidate profile across the French marketplace. Whilst, traditionally, Web Analysts focused on Data pulled from websites before using their findings to make business recommendations on how to improve the site and streamline user experience.  However, as, digital channels, including apps, social media and mobile devices have multiplied, the amount of Data available to gather insights from has increased dramatically. Web Analytics has become Digital Analytics as a result of the need to quantify and better understand customer behaviour regardless of the channel or device used.  Across the world’s leading technology hubs, the role of the Digital Analyst is no longer to just relay insights from a company’s website, but to analyse different Data sources, work with complex technologies and tell stories with their findings. We’re now seeing the same evolution take place across the French market.  Today's Web Analysts  Throughout the era of digital measurement and optimisation tools, the use of AB tests and MVT tests has allowed Web Analysts to trial different online solutions for their enterprises. Nevertheless, until recently, these have remained centred on only one channel; the website. Over recent years, however, new categories of Analytics have now emerged, all of which need to be viewed as equally important:  In-store Analytics: The measurement of physical store Data, a real-world equivalent of web analytics. Mobile Analytics: The analysis of users’ traffic and behaviour on mobile sites and applications. Social Analytics: The analysis of Data from social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  As a result of this diversification, businesses are now not only looking for technical Web Analysts who can work with Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics and implement tags with GTM or DTM. There is now an appetite to go further and deeper with their analysis and Web Analysts who can use tools such as Big Query/ SQL, R or Python are high in-demand. A candidate with ‘Data Web’ vision, a strong knowledge of Data and KPIs in different business models, stands out amongst ever-increasing competition.  Furthermore, as Web Analysts use a lot of Data, particularly personal Data, a strong knowledge of GDPR and the legal implications of their work are also incredibly beneficial.  In other words, Web Analysts are becoming more versatile. No longer siloed to their own space, Web Analysts should have experience of collaborating with marketing and technical teams, as well as to top management and senior stakeholders.  Tomorrow's Web Analytics With this progression of Analytics tools and skillsets, Digital Analysts are now playing a more important role in businesses than ever before.  As they continue to present new ways of interpreting and visualising Data, their impact on the bottom line is being felt more significantly than ever.   As a result, Web Analysts are now open to significantly more professional opportunities. Specifically, if they have a strong technical skillset and a business mindset, they can move into a Digital Business Analyst or Data Scientist position. This means that the best candidates are in incredibly high-demand and businesses need to be sure of what skillset they need before beginning a recruitment process.  For example, a company recently going through a big change in tools migration, such as moving from Adobe to GA, would be in need of a strong technical Web Analyst who can implement those tools. A business that is further down the line with their capabilities, on the other hand, may be looking for a candidate with a real business vision, in additional to an analytical skillset, who can make informed business recommendations. Whilst the French market may be in transition, we’re already seeing these changes take place in other regions. In the UK, there is a large amount of conversation around ‘Digital Intelligence’, and Web Analysts are now beginning to be viewed as important as Data Scientists within many leading organisations, partially because these roles are overlapping more and more. In fact, the lack of appreciation for Web Analysts in France is a point of contention for many candidates, something that was discussed frequently at this year’s MeasureCamp Paris.  Businesses who are looking to hire, and retain, Web Analysts need to be aware of this mindset. Candidates often share their apprehensions around the lack of training offered within their companies, as well as concerns about investment in their area. As Web Analysts continue to upskill, enterprises need to make sure they continue to offer growth, opportunity and a good working environment, particularly if they are seeking domestic talent.  Whether you are looking to expend your Web Analytics function or take the next step in your career, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expect consultants to find out more. 

How AI Will Revolutionise CRM

How AI Will Revolutionise CRM

If we can be sure of anything in today’s business climate, it is that new trends will emerge and disrupt, new technologies will continue to be developed and attract hype, and companies will be left to navigate a landscape of opportunity and uncertainty. Customer Relationship Management is an upright concept or strategy to solidify relations with customers whilst at the same time reducing cost and enhancing productivity and profitability in business. CRM systems provide a well-defined platform for all business units to interact with their customers and fulfil all their needs and demands in order to build long-term relationships. Every business unit has an emphasis on developing long-term relationships with customers in order to nurture their stability in today’s blooming market. Customer’s expectations are now not only limited to get best products and services, they also need a face-to-face business in which they want to receive exactly what they demand and in a quick time. New Look CRM CRM is vital for the success of any organisation that seeks to continuously build relationships and manage countless interactions with customers. Now CRM systems bring together customer Data from a multitude of different sources, delivering it to all customer-facing employees to provide a complete picture of each customer across all department Today, there is a ton of available information across many devices and platforms. Companies need a way to integrate this “Big Data” into their intelligent CRM that can produce predictive results. The Value of AI Artificial Intelligence (AI) CRM systems built on Machine Learning algorithms now have the ability to learn from past experience or historical Data. Having these insights at the disposal of any customer-facing employee (sales, support, marketing, etc.) empowers a business to build deeper relationships with its customers. As a result, integrating AI and Machine Learning with CRM can deliver more predictive and personalised customer information in all areas of your business. By predicting customer behaviour, companies can take personalised actions to avoid the use of invasive advertising and to provide material of real interest to each prospect. There is no question personalising communications to customers has become critical. Today’s buyers demand more than a “spray-and-pray” email blast. A recent McKinsey study found that personalisation can lift sales by 10% or more. The analysis also showed that by personalising just 20% of email content, open rates increased more than 40& on average. Reply rates also increased a whopping 112%. As a CRM stores all the information in one centralised place, this makes it a lot easier to analyse your performance as a whole. This helps businesses build a relationship with their customers that, in turn, creates loyalty and customer retention. Since customer loyalty and revenue are both qualities that affect a company's revenue, a strong CRM have a direct result in increased profits for a business.  Those that use Big Data & Analytics effectively show productivity rates and profitability that are higher than competitors and those that put Data at the centre of their marketing efforts improve their ROI by 15-20%.  AI and CRM AI is becoming an ever-present theme across a variety of industries, from healthcare and retail to software development and finance. CRM vendors are no different; over the past year, numerous CRM vendors have introduced AI components into their product offerings. AI will develop in parallel with user interactions using various touch points within CRM and evolve continuously to deliver more intelligent and personalised actions. Learning critical patterns will also enable AI-infused CRM to automate certain actions, decrease the manual work required, and empower sales and marketing professionals to work more efficiently and effectively. The inefficient processes that hinder CRM will no longer be acceptable, and AI-powered automation will play a much bigger role in streamlining workflows. The rise of AI presents businesses with a wide array of unique benefits and opportunities. It can empower them to provide better, more relevant experiences to their customers and forge bonds with them in a way that was simply not possible before.  It’s estimated that 85% of businesses will start implementing AI solutions for their CRM by 2020. It seems inevitable that with further advancements, AI will move from a novelty tool to a must-have feature and dire necessity of every business. If you’re looking for to build a team of CRM experts, or to take the next step in your career, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

RELATED Jobs

Salary

£50000 - £60000 per annum

Location

London

Description

Do you enjoy tackling some of the most exciting and challenging Big Data problems in the industry and building large-scale technology solutions?

Salary

£50000 - £60000 per annum

Location

London

Description

Are you a Java enthusiast who is looking to grow their skill set while adding value and previous expertise to an Engineering team?

Salary

£70000 - £850000 per annum

Location

Edinburgh

Description

Are you wanting to use your expertise to help shape the Pricing function at one of the largest banks in UK?

Salary

£35000 - £55000 per annum

Location

London

Description

An exciting new role working with an online marketing performance company with some of the biggest names in the online gaming industry.

recently viewed jobs