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 28th June we ran, ‘From Addict to Advocate: A Personal Story’ , where Aaron Abbott, Business Manager at Morgan Hunt, shared his story from gambling addiction to setting up a social enterprise education young people on the dangers of gambling.
Watch the full recording below
Further Gambling Information
Signs of Problem Gambling
The pandemic has affected every part of society, but young people face a particularly uncertain time as they look to enter the job market, come to terms with ongoing furlough or recent redundancy.
Morgan Hunt have partnered with The Youth Group to offer the skills and experiences of our staff to mentor a growing number of young people who are seeking knowledge, advice, and support.
Dan Taylor, Managing Director of Morgan Hunt said “It comes as no surprise that the wonderful Morgan Hunt staff have voluntarily given up their time to help young people. Their experience and listening skills will prove invaluable to young people who may not have access to someone who can help and support them. It is another visible extension of the company’s desire to live our mission by inspiring working lives”.
More information including how you can register to become either a mentor or mentee with The Youth Group can be found on their website.
On 27th January 2021 Morgan Hunt delivered a webinar on diversity and inclusion titled 'Celebrating different perspectives - Why diversity matters'. We were joined by diversity and inclusion experts Carmen Morris, Amarjit Singh Basi and Hannah Manyewu to outline the benefits of diverse and inclusive workplaces, the challenges facing the implementation of D&I and how these challenges can be overcome. See a summary of the webinar below or watch the full recording at the bottom of this page:
Diversity and inclusion have been at the forefront of many people's and organisation's minds since the events of 2020. The Black Lives Matter movement shone a light on the importance of equality for all people in all areas of life. The need to be treated equally is vital within the workplace, as it's a place where people spend most of their days and lives.
In our webinar, our speakers outlined that there are many benefits to be gained from creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. Fostering these kinds of professional environments helps people feel more comfortable. As a result, they are more engaged in their work and with the people around them. Collaboration improves, as does their productivity and effectiveness. As a whole, job satisfaction increases, barriers that in the past made work difficult are reduced and the performance of all employees is boosted.
It's hard to argue against improving the wellbeing of your employees, but there are many benefits to organisations too. Improved employee effectiveness and productivity improves the overall performance of the business. Many studies have shown there is a strong positive correlation between diversity and inclusion and business success. Beyond this, D&I practices foster strong and supportive cultures that people want to work in. It makes retaining talent and attracting skilled people to your organisation much easier.
But how do you begin improving diversity and inclusion? It has to start with senior leadership and management. Boards must authentically buy into the need to improve and understand the challenges that the least privileged people in their organisations face. This requires leaders and managers in an organisation to speak to the people affected and take the time to hear about their lived experiences, the barriers they face and any areas of improvement they have identified.
But the role of leadership doesn't stop there. Next, they must put what they have learnt to action. Improving diversity and inclusion is about creating a change in culture which must be driven from the top down to be authentic. Representing marginalised groups within management is an important step that ensures all perspectives are heard and considered.
Leaders and management aren't alone though. Setting the culture requires buy in and support from all functions of the business. Management must take ownership of this process and invest in the development of staff at all levels. Through this, employees throughout the organisation will gain the knowledge and understanding to make this change in culture effective and, most importantly, permanent.
In the past year we have seen an increase in the number of diversity and inclusion job roles. The creation of positions with this specific focus signals a promising commitment to improvement, however it is important that these appointments are not just tokenistic. These job roles must be thought out and organisations should at least have some understanding of their areas of improvement or what they want to achieve. Otherwise, businesses risk destroying any credibility they have in wanting to promote diversity and inclusion.
For people in these roles, there are a number of factors that will determine their success. Most importantly you should have a direct line of communication to the board or senior leadership team. If this doesn't exist, it is unlikely your role will have the impact that is needed to create change within the organisation. D&I advocate Hannah Manyewu suggests that your definition of success should be based on achieving results through others. Your aim should be to mobilise internal groups across all functions, build momentum and interest in improving D&I and ultimately hold leadership accountable.
Recruitment is also critical in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. Hiring people from different backgrounds shows a commitment to improving the diversity of the workforce and brings in new perspectives and ideas which can help an organisation thrive. To practice inclusive recruitment, businesses should understand their employer brand and how it is perceived by potential applicants. Through this you gain insight into how you may have to improve how you communicate your employer value proposition to appeal to a diverse range of applicants. Fair and unbiased recruitment methods such as psychometric testing and blind application reviews are also useful tools to make the hiring process as inclusive as possible.
Since last year we have seen a lot of progress, but it is just the beginning. It is important to acknowledge that change doesn't happen overnight, but organisations must begin taking the steps to create more diverse and inclusive environments. Our speakers Carmen, Amarjit and Hannah hope that in the next year we will continue to see more leadership and executive roles filled by people with diverse characteristics, increased publicly visible commitment to the cause and real accountability to change through evidence and case studies.
Find out how you can improve internal diversity and create inclusive workplaces. Contact Clare Keniry, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Morgan Hunt – [email protected].
Back in January 2020, Morgan Hunt's technology division was delighted to support Cancer Central, NHS Digital & Exponential-e and other fantastic cancer charities by opening up our offices on London Wall for a full day's filming to create a special video for World Cancer Day 2020.
Cancer Central is a young, award-winning social enterprise built on community, partnerships and a common goal to use tech for good. Created from over 40,000 donated hours by 250+ individuals and over 35 organisations, their vision is to become one of the leading HealthTech platforms delivering specialised online health hubs with Ask Ave, an AI Chatbot, guiding people to the information they need.
The World Cancer Day film was the brain child of Avril Chester, Founder of Cancer Central & Ask Ave, who brought together 16 cancer charities to collaboratively film the video called 'Standing Together'. The video was based off of a poem by the same title, written by Avril, who herself battled with cancer.
Our technology team was on hand to support the logistics and running of the day, ensuring filming times ran smoothly and that guests were satisfied and engaged. And the video was a great success. As of writing this, the #WCDStandingTogether film has been viewed more than 105,000 times across the internet. To view the video, click here.
The cancer charities that collaborated to create the Standing Together video were:
Bowel Cancer UK
Breast Cancer Now
Cancer Care Map
Cancer On Board
Duffus Cancer Foundation
Teenage Cancer Trust
World Child Cancer
Worldwide Cancer Research
Youth Cancer Trust
Morgan Hunt is proud to support all of these charities, in any way we can, to promote their message and their profile within the community.
Like many of you, I was deeply shocked at last week’s events in America. In response to this news it is the duty of all businesses and organisations to unequivocally state where they stand.??£
I am deeply proud to run a business full of individuals from so many diverse backgrounds. This diversity does nothing but strengthen Morgan Hunt and provides us with a knowledge and understanding that simply would not occur without such a vibrant diverse workforce, whether that be through, race, creed, sexuality, gender or perspectives. ??£
Morgan Hunt works in partnership with our clients, it is the duty of every member of the Morgan Hunt team to share our own experiences and to forcefully recommend that success lies in assembling a fully diverse workforce. It, therefore, should be at the forefront of any recruitment plan we build. ??£
There is still much more to do, we must continue to look deeply at our own behaviours and performance, but I am sure I speak for all of you when I say that Morgan Hunt stands shoulder to shoulder with those who peacefully demand an end to systematic racism, intolerance and injustice.??£
Managing Director of Morgan Hunt