Just when you thought we were making progress in the fight for gender equality a new report has been released that revealed there are fewer women CEOs in the workforce than CEOs named John. That’s right, more men named John run companies than women altogether!
The US study conducted by Ernst and Young says: “Only 16 per cent of S&P 1500 board seats are held by women – less than the proportion of seats held by directors named John, Robert, James and William.”
This means that for every women on the board, there are four Johns, Roberts, James’ and Williams’. That’s not even including blokes with a different name. Furthermore, the study also went on to reveal that the proportion of women on boards has increased by “only 5 percentage point over the last 10 years.”
And while it’s still positive that the number has actually increased, Ernst and Young revealed that the companies had grown in size, raising the question as to whether “boards are holistically refreshing or simply adding more directors?”
So does this mean that the gender gap isn’t closing like we’re led to believe and findings are actually based on larger board sizes?
“In general, more women are being appointed to board and executive leadership positions though change continues to be gradual,” according to the study.
They say slow and steady wins the race, but if this study is anything to go by it appears the race is dominated by males. So let me ask you: Should we be stepping outside our comfort zones and pushing even harder for more female contenders, or is the corporate hierarchy just more appealing to men?
Whether you’re looking to earn some extra cash in the New Year or just keen to have some social interaction that’s not centred around kids, there are many reasons why returning to work after having kids can be beneficial. However, there are many factors for Mums to consider when transitioning back to work, such as child care arrangements, making sure that your skills are up to date and evaluating your career plans and goals. While this may seem daunting, there are many things you can do to make the transition easier and ensure that you stand out as a competitive candidate.
Share the load
For many Mums, returning to work is a financial juggling act, with day-care waiting lists spiralling out of control and the cost of private nannies outweighing the financial benefits of working. One option is to take advantage of Nanny Share arrangements, which involve splitting the cost of a Nanny with another family. With the increasing number of reputable Nanny Share agencies available, this can be a cost effective and convenient option for many families.
Polish your resume and get qualified
To gain a competitive edge and show credibility in your field, it’s important to have up to date qualifications. It might have been years since you’ve stepped into a classroom, but you might still be able to transform relevant work experience and skills into a qualification through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Adam Wadi, CEO of Australia’s leading RPL provider, Get Qualified Australia, explains, “Many people are amazed to learn that their experience could gain them a qualification with no need to attend additional classes or pay for expensive tuition. RPL and skills recognition are assessment methods that verify your skills, knowledge and experience against the established industry standards and can be used to gain a qualification.” Get Qualified Australia also offers Gap Training courses online, so if you did need to update your skills there are 24/7 flexible options to fit around even the busiest schedules. For more information on Get Qualified Australia services, visit www.gqaustralia.com.au.
Fill in the gaps
Don’t be tempted to list gaps on your resume with “Stay At Home Mum,” instead think outside the box by including any valuable unpaid experience and skills that you have gained since your last job. Any volunteer work you participated in for your kid’s school or the community can show great initiative, the ability to work in a team and people skills.
Dress the part
The easiest way to boost your confidence in a job interview or the first day at a new job is by dressing the part. Even for the most casual of workplaces, new work clothes can put you in the right frame of mind and have you feeling polished. However, updating your work wardrobe doesn’t need to be expensive. For those looking to keep costs low try department stores like Target, Big W and Kmart who offer stylish yet inexpensive work basics and accessories.
Be confident in what you have to offer
New research by Ernst and Young for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency indicates that working mothers are often the most productive employees in a workplace. It makes sense as Mums possess great time management skills, the ability to multi task and the ability to cope well with stressful situations. All of these skills are readily transferrable to most positions, so be confident in your abilities and how you can contribute them to the workforce.