The role of women in the workforce has evolved dramatically over the past few decades. Gone are the days when women were primarily relegated to the role of homemakers. Today, women make up a significant portion of the global workforce, juggling their professional and family responsibilities.
For working mothers, in particular, the challenge of balancing work and family life is a delicate tightrope act. Recent statistics highlight this.
Flexible working arrangements emerged as a lifeline for working mums, providing them with the much-needed flexibility to excel in both their careers and family life.
We've reached out to working mums within the Morgan Hunt team to hear from them about their experiences. Their insights shed light on the unique challenges they face and how flexible working has become an essential tool in their journey to success.
Kirsty Stoddart – Senior Business Manager
In her own words, Kirsty Stoddart sheds light on how flexible working has transformed her work-life balance:
"In terms of flexible working I would say the working pattern I have at the moment really helps with my family life. The fact that I finish at 3pm every day gives me time to see the kids after school and get organised for after school clubs etc without having my head in the laptop at the same time! And when I asked just a few months ago to change my working pattern, it didn’t seem to be an issue to the company or my manager."
She also underscores the crucial role of her manager, Gillies, in supporting her:
"I know it is Morgan Hunt as a company that offers the flexible working, but also I would say the backing I get from Gillies is a massive help too as he is always understanding when 'life' happens and you need to reorganise work, etc."
Kirsty also touches upon the pressure she places on herself as a part-time worker:
"The only other thing I would add is that with working part-time, it is a pressure to achieve and do all parts of your role the same as a full-time member of staff. Not necessarily that anyone is putting pressure on me, but more me putting it on myself if that makes sense!"
Amie Day – Business Manager
Amie Day shares her own challenges as a working mum:
"I have 2 children – 4 years and 2 years old and I find having a career and being a mum very hard and challenging. But Morgan Hunt have made it easier for me by allowing me to work remotely and work 4 days a week so it gives me the time to be at home and flexibility to be there for my children should I need to. It also allows me to manage my own workload and work to suit me and my family."
She emphasises the importance of understanding and support:
"This job is very pressurised and busy, especially being in education at the busiest time of year but having a great manager who is a father himself, he manages to see it through my eyes too. I think more people need to be understanding that not only do we do a good job, but we are a mum to very demanding little people. You need a good team network and support around you who are understanding and considerate."
Annabelle Walster – Business Manager
Annabelle Walster recounts her experience of returning to work after having her second child:
"Returning to work after having my second child was a real shock to the system! It’s difficult to juggle the demands of being a mum whilst still being successful in your career. I am lucky to have had the support of my team in Manchester and in particular my Director, Eliot who has made retuning to work a whole lot easier with his support and understanding he has given me"
She goes on to explain how flexible working has helped her:
"Being able to work in a flexible way has helped me immensely! Living quite a distance from the office, working from home 3 days per week means I get to spend quality time with the children in the evening, something which wouldn’t have been possible before we worked flexibly due to the commute."
Annabelle highlights the challenges of working part-time in a demanding industry:
"Although for me, working 4 days a week is a huge positive, it does present challenges when working in a demanding industry such as recruitment. Having a work from home set up means I can overcome these challenges and speak to my candidates and clients outside typical working hours to ensure my business still runs smoothly!"
Women in the UK are putting in more time at work than ever before thanks to flexible and hybrid working policies that sprang up during the pandemic, an analysis of official data by Bloomberg shows. However despite the numerous benefits of flexible working, challenges remain.
There has been a push to return more workers into the office, which risks undercutting a surge in the hours the women spend on the job.
Hybrid working, such as coming into the office two to three days a week, doesn’t necessarily fall into the flexible working bracket and can bring huge benefits including improved collaboration and enhanced team dynamics. It’s important to strike the right balance and understand the nuances of hybrid and flexible working and what works for the individual.
The concern is that this shift back to the office may affect women disproportionately. The pandemic had increased men's involvement in household responsibilities as more of them worked from home. However, the return-to-office mandates by companies could undermine this progress, creating conflict in two-career households. The reduced flexibility that comes with a return to the office may lead to a less equitable division of household tasks, which in turn can impact equality at home and work. It's a reminder that the benefits of flexible working go beyond gender equality and are vital for a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Working mums are a vital part of the modern UK workforce, and their contributions should be celebrated and supported. Flexible working arrangements provide a lifeline to working mothers, allowing them to excel in their careers while still being there for their families. As society continues to evolve, it's crucial for businesses and policymakers to prioritise and promote flexible working options.
Empowering working mums is not just a matter of gender equality; it's a smart investment in a happier, healthier, and more productive workforce, and a step toward addressing the gender pay gap. If you'd like further advice or guidance, don't hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected].
On Wednesday 1st November 2023 we ran, ‘Navigating Change: Menopause in the Workplace’, where we were joined by three expert speakers who explored the profound impact of perimenopause and menopause on individuals and their careers.
Watch the full recording below
The public sector plays a vital role in society. It provides essential services and infrastructure that impact our lives daily. To deliver these services, public organisations are turning more and more to technology. This has created a growing demand for tech professionals in the public sector. Public sector technology jobs are in high demand in the UK, as the government invests in digital transformation and innovation.
Tech jobs in this sector involve using technology to provide public services, such as health, education, security, and education. And for those working in the sector, it provides a unique and rewarding career path.
Benefits of public-sector tech jobs
There are a whole host of IT jobs within the sector, from Public sector developer jobs, and cyber security roles to data analyst jobs and business analyst jobs. Whatever the role, there are a host of benefits that are unique to the sector, too.
Salaries, benefits, and annual leave
Salaries for tech roles within the public sector are competitive. According to a report by Tech Nation, the median salary for public sector tech workers in the UK was £47,000 in 2022, compared to £45,000 for private sector tech workers. Although private sector positions sometimes boast higher initial salaries, public sector IT jobs make up for it with more comprehensive benefits, such as good pension plans, generous paid time off, and a healthy work-life balance. Over time, these benefits add up to a strong compensation package.
Those working outside of the public sector are not aware of the generous annual leave entitlement that is often applicable to the roles. Although this is dependent on the type of role, you may have around 30 days of holiday per year, plus bank holidays. This is higher than the basic 20-to-25-day standard allowance in the private sector.
Job Stability and Security
The public sector tends to be less influenced by economic uncertainty. This means that tech professionals in the public sector can enjoy a stable work environment and have a lower risk of redundancy. Public sector recruitment remains strong. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there were an estimated 5.87 million employees in the public sector in June 2023, which is 133,000 (2.3%) more than in June 2022.
Making a Meaningful Impact
Working in the public sector means playing a vital role in people's lives. Working in tech, you’ll be helping to provide essential services and infrastructure through technology. Public sector tech professionals work on projects that impact the wellbeing of their communities and society. Whether it's improving healthcare systems, optimising transportation networks, or enhancing public safety, the sense of purpose that comes with public sector work is rewarding.
Diversity and inclusion
The Public sector is committed to diverse and inclusive workplaces. They promote equal employment opportunities in their job advertisements. And they create environments that welcome individuals from all backgrounds. The sector brings together people from different backgrounds, ages, and cultures. This commitment to diversity makes these tech jobs more inclusive and supportive. This dynamic and inclusive atmosphere enables you to enhance your soft skills and broaden your perspectives.
Public sector tech workers have more flexibility in choosing their work hours and locations than private-sector tech workers. Many organisations within the public sector offer options such as part-time work, job sharing, compressed hours, and remote work.
Public sector tech jobs often emphasise work-life balance, making them an attractive option for those seeking a fulfilling career without sacrificing their personal lives. Many public organisations offer flexible work arrangements, hybrid working options, and family-friendly policies, enabling employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. With part-time, full-time, remote tech jobs, and flexible contract options, you can find a role that suits your circumstances while still making an impact in the field of tech.
London used to be the biggest technology hub in the UK, with a large concentration of technology workers and businesses residing in the city, but the concentration of tech employment in the UK has spread since the COVID-19 pandemic introduced more flexibility into working life.
Job satisfaction is a common sentiment among tech professionals in the public sector. Knowing that their work contributes to the greater good and impacts their communities can be fulfilling. The sense of purpose that comes with public sector tech jobs often leads to higher job satisfaction levels.
Learning and development
The Public sector prioritises employee development and growth. There are often opportunities for training and development to help tech professionals stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and best practices. Additionally, public sector tech jobs offer a diverse range of projects. This enables employees to gain work experience in different areas.
Find out more about IT roles in the Public sector
Public sector tech jobs offer benefits that make them an attractive career choice. From job stability and flexibility to meaningful work and professional development, tech professionals in the public sector enjoy a diverse and rewarding career. If you're looking for a fulfilling and secure career in IT, consider exploring the opportunities that are available. https://www.morganhunt.com/jobs/jobfunction/technology/11
On Thursday 5th October we ran, ‘Black Leadership Job Board: The Next Chatper’, where we were joined by Black Leadership Group co-founder, Robin Landman OBE, who discussed the benefits of the job board and the significance of maintaining a diverse staff. Clare Keniry, Board Director at Morgan Hunt, celebrated the successes of the job board thus far and offered a sneak preview of the new and improved platform coming January 2024.
Watch the full recording below
On Thursday 14th September we ran, ‘The AI Revolution: Transforming the Public Sector’ , where our esteemed speakers delved into the profound transformation AI has brought to the public sector and what’s on the horizon.
Watch the full recording below
AI Resources mentioned
As colleges head back this September for a new term, further education (FE) teaching jobs go unfilled. This is due to different reasons. For one, vocational education is becoming more important in the UK. The demand for skills-based knowledge, technical skills, and employability skills among employers has increased. More and more young people are also seeing the benefits of studying subjects such as technology and the career opportunities it opens nowadays.
There is a skills shortage for FE jobs in the UK, and this is coupled with the fact that many skilled trades and professions believe that specialist teaching qualifications and degrees in education are needed to teach at college.
Further education jobs in London and beyond do not always need teaching experience or certain academic qualifications. Courses such as bricklaying, engineering, mechanics, hairdressing, and plumbing need experienced, skilled workers to teach the next generation.
If you’re an industry professional or working in the trades, you may not have even considered FE teaching as a viable option for your next career move. These days, we talk about ‘portfolio careers’, and changing jobs is no longer a red flag; rather, it is an accepted norm in the wider employment market. So, if you have had enough of working in industry, now could be a great time to enter the FE sector.
Jobs in FE colleges now focus on how valuable years of hands-on experience are as opposed to holding set qualifications. Some further education teaching jobs have on-the-job training, and some further education teaching jobs come with funding to obtain teaching qualifications.
Now is a great time to embark on a FE career
The government has plans to bring 4,000 teachers into the FE sector by 2025. Moreover, they have also launched a £5 million scheme called the Taking Teaching Further programme, which will pay for up to 150 professionals from sectors such as engineering and computing to retrain as further education teachers.
In the UK today, the skills shortage is impacting FE colleges. There is a particular shortage of teachers in STEM subjects (science, technology, English, and Maths), as well as construction and engineering. The demand for talented people to work in further education has never been greater.
Besides industry-experienced teaching staff, vacancies for assessors for vocational subjects such as plumbing, electrical installation, bricklaying, and hairdressing continue to rise.
Jobs in further education make for a stable career move. With redundancies often taking place in the private sector, this is a real selling point in the post-COVID-19 world. If you’re tempted to move into further education the risk you are taking, is a safe one.
Your years in industry count, significantly
When you work in further education, you will still get to practise the trade you trained in and are passionate about. With an FE career, you will be safe in the knowledge that you are influencing and shaping the next generation of industry experts. Young people like you.
There are lots of rewards to teaching in FE including opportunities for creativity and innovation. It’s not uncommon to encounter students in further education who may have struggled within a school environment and will respond to a more innovative and individualised approach. Those who work in FE and come from an industry background tend to approach teaching with enthusiasm. This positive attitude assists students in applying their skills to real-life scenarios.
Finding FE jobs in the UK
According to data from the AoC, there are 277 colleges in the UK, including 232 colleges in England and 45 sixth-form colleges. FE vacancies can be found in:
A reputable teaching agency, such as Morgan Hunt’s education recruitment division, can help you find these vacancies. Morgan Hunt has been a market leader in placing people in further education jobs in London since 2004.
Further education jobs are varied and FE job titles include:
The joys of working in FE
An FE career is rewarding as you are playing a vital role in the education of young people looking to enhance their skills and knowledge.
One of the most attractive prospects about working in further education jobs is the chance for flexible work that isn’t available in other career paths. Many workers are disillusioned with the daily ‘9 to 5‘, limited holiday, and weekend work required by those working in industry sectors such as hairdressing or mechanics.
Benefits of moving into FE from industry
If you’re working in industry, you might not be aware of the generous annual leave entitlement that comes with FE. Although this is dependent on the type of role, most full-time FE jobs are entitled to around 38 days of holiday per year, plus bank holidays. This is higher than the standard 20 to 25-day allowance.
Morgan Hunt specialises in placing experienced individuals like yourself in a range of further FE jobs in London and the UK, from lecturing positions to support roles. If you're looking for jobs in further education, search for our FE vacancies here. With colleges having started back this September, now is the time to apply!