Working mums can fill skills gap, say Irish firms
Regus report points to desire to hire but stresses need for flexible working
New research published by global workspace provider Regus for International Women’s Day shows that eight in ten Irish firms believe that their industry misses out by not employing women after maternity leave and over two thirds (69%) say that returning mothers bring skills and experience which are difficult to find in the current market.
The poll of business owners and senior managers also reveals that over two fifths (45%) anticipate hiring more working mothers in the next two years, up from 34% when Regus asked businesses the same question in 2011.
Respondents pinpoint flexible hours, working closer to home, part-time work and the option to video conference instead of travelling at least some of the time as the top strategies to get more mothers back into the workforce.
In particular, nearly six in ten (57%) report that more women are demanding to work remotely when they return to the workforce. Over two fifths (45%) say working closer to home is a key incentive, rather than working from home, pointing to the suitability of local ‘third place’ workhubs such as business centres.
Nearly a quarter (23%) of those surveyed note that they are seeing more women take maternity leave of under three months.
Karen Lawlor, Country Manager for Ireland at Regus comments: “With reports highlighting that the non-participation of women in the economy is costing as much as 27% per capita GDP in some countries, and that companies with more women on the board are more profitable,  it is high time that Irish businesses address the issue of how to adapt working practices to better suit working mothers.
“It is very positive that two in five Irish firms intend to hire more women returning after maternity leave but they often find that juggling professional and family duties can be very demanding, if not impossible. More employers are realising that flexible working is critical to helping women back into the workplace, especially the option of working locally from a business centre or ‘third place’ rather than commuting.”
Regus is the world’s largest workspace provider with 1800 locations across the globe. Companies that work flexibly with Regus include Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline as well as thousands of SMEs.
 IMF, Women, Work and the Economy, September 2013
 The Financial Times, Research shows profitable companies have more women on the board, 25th July 2013
Regus is the global workplace provider.
Its network of more than 1,800 business centres in 100 countries provides convenient, high-quality, fully serviced spaces for people to work, whether for a few minutes or a few years. Companies like Google, Toshiba and GlaxoSmithKline choose Regus so that they can work flexibly and make their businesses more successful.
The key to flexible working is convenience and so Regus is opening wherever its 1.5 million members want support - city centres, suburban districts, shopping centres and retail outlets, railway stations, motorway service stations and even community centres.
Founded in Brussels, Belgium, in 1989, Regus is based in Luxembourg and listed on the London Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit: www.regus.com