Women in Events: Women's Business Council calls for more flexible working

Businesses should do more to help mothers who want to return to work, according to a report by the Women's Business Council (WBC) released this week.

WBC report calls for more female role models
WBC report calls for more female role models

The report, entitled ‘Maximising women’s contribution to future economic growth’ comes less than a week after the launch of Event magazine's Women in Events campaign.

The report recommends business should do more to help mothers when returning to work, including flexible return to work procedures and talent management schemes.

It said employment contracts should try to reflect the job itself, rather than where or when the work is to be done, and avoid terms like ‘part-time’ or ‘full-time’. It called for businesses to share good practice, including examples of flexible contracts, so that companies can learn from each other in an industry-led approach to support cultural change.

The report also stated the importance of role models. The WBC found that 83% of women who have started their own business have known someone else who had done so. It found that if women were engaged in entrepreneurial activity at the same rate as men there could be an extra one million female entrepreneurs in the UK. 

The WBC notes that "supporting women in working life is not a moral duty but good working practice". 

It said: "Business, and our wider economy, have to prioritise business needs. Happily, increasing numbers of employers are convinced of the business case for optimising women’s economic activity. For them, the question is not, ‘should I employ women?’ but, ‘How can I recruit and retain the best women, and help them grow my business while supporting their professional development?’."

Our Women in Events campaign aims to tackle both these issues of flexible working and availability of role models – and much more. 

We will be debating some of these issues for the first time at the Guide Live today (6 June). Follow the day’s content @eventmagazine and #WomeninEvents.

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