We have a big vision here at Digital Mums and that’s to support every mum to achieve their perfect work/life balance. We speak to mums every single day who are tearing their hair out at the lack of flexible working opportunities available to them. The research out there backs it up - a 2015 study from the Equality and Human Rights Commission showed that 54,000 mums lose their jobs every year due to maternity discrimination.
Right now we’re trying our best to improve this situation by retraining mums with in demand digital skills so that they can find work that fits flexibly around family life. So far so good - that’s nearly 500 mums empowered to make a change, with plenty more on the way.
But that leaves a lot more to go. To achieve our ultimate vision we need to think seriously big. And we know we can’t do it alone. That’s why we’re launching our #WorkThatWorks movement. A movement that calls on businesses and individuals everywhere to show their support for flexible working. It’s only by standing up and demanding a serious cultural change to the way that we work in Britain that we’re going to get any closer to our vision and that mums everywhere are going to find rewarding, flexible work that fits around family life. And it’s not just about mums, it also makes sense for productivity in businesses and the economy overall - 83% of businesses in a survey conducted this year said adopting flexible working had resulted in improvements in productivity.
We live in an age where technology has irrevocably changed the way we work yet too many mums are still forced into having to choose between a fulfilling career OR being there for their children. In the year 2016 it’s past time that we made another way widely available - an opportunity for more mums to have both a fulfilling career and to be there for their children. Of course, for many staying at home totally works, and for others the career and family juggle is already running smoothly. But from our experience there are so many other mums in the middle that are struggling to make it work on either front. It’s not exactly that much to ask and shouldn’t feel like a choice of one over the other anymore.
Of course we can keep shouting from our corner about it but the only way #WorkThatWorks is going to become a reality for mums everywhere is if outdated attitudes to the way we’re ‘meant’ to work change. Forget 9 to 5, rigid structure and presenteeism. If everyone, and especially decision makers at companies, embrace a newer, and more effective culture of working it actually has huge benefits for everyone. As a business you retain talent, reduce overheads and access an amazing untapped talent pool. As a mother you’re able to find rewarding roles that reflect your years of experience and skills, rather than being forced to take a lower paid, lower skilled job just because it's the only flexible one you can find.
We want as many businesses and individuals as possible to show their support for flexible working by joining the #WorkThatWorks movement. We’re not saying we have all the answers but what we do know is that it’s desperately needed for mums everywhere and that actually embracing flexible working can be brilliant for businesses. We should know after all - we’ve done it. There are 32 in our team at Digital Mums HQ,27 of whom are mums who work around family life. Of course we’re just one company. So for more women to achieve their perfect work/life balance, what we need right now is to start a wider conversation and get everyone showing their support for #WorkThatWorks.
So this month, on September 26th we’ll be launching our first annual #WorkThatWorks week. To solve any problem you need to understand the scale of it. That’s why we’ll be kicking the week off with exclusive research that reflects the true story of flexible working in the UK and how it’s affecting mums. We’ll then be discussing these findings at our exclusive #WorkThatWorks event in Central London with a panel of flexible working champions including social media sensation Mother Pukka aka Anna Whitehouse, Sophie Walker, head of the Women’s Equality Party, Holly Tucker, founder of NotOnTheHighStreet.com and UK Ambassador for Creative Small Business, Token Man founder Daniele Fiandaca (and us of course). The panel will be compèred by the amazing Kate Thornton, all round lovely lady and founder of TBSeen.com.
In the run up to #WorkThatWorks week we’ll also be publishing interviews with our amazing #WorkThatWorks Ambassadors - women and men that are total champions of flexible working. First up we’ll hear from Mother Pukka, the queen of #FLEXAPPEAL. Then others including Holly Tucker will be dropping by for a chat as well as Siobhan Freegard, founder of Netmums and Channel Mums. We’ll also be showcasing some of the businesses that have shown their support already and joined Team #WorkThatWorks. We’re not saying that to join the movement as a business you have to have 100 percent perfect flexible working credentials. It’s about being an organisation that wants to join the conversation, is interested in the notion of #WorkThatWorks and wants to make that a reality to whatever extent works for them.
How to get involved
So with two weeks to go until our first #WorkThatWorks week kicks off - what can you do right now to support The Movement? Lots actually.
- Initially we would love you to show your support for #WorkThatWorks by sharing an image/photo/video on social media which represents the letters WTW (see what we did there). We’ve already had some brilliant ones from our team which you can check out for inspiration.
From graffiti, to sign language, nail art, kids pictures, cupcakes and beyond, let’s fill social media with WTW love.
The more of us that do it, the more the world will listen to the fact that WTW is something people are crying out for. So get creative people and post your photos up on social media, making sure to tag us in and use the hashtag #WorkThatWorks - we’ll be sure to share it. During #WorkThatWorks week itself they’ll be plenty more opportunities to show your support which we’ll be in touch with nearer the time.
We would also love you to show your support by adding this Facebook overlay to your Facebook profile. When you do please share a message with your followers like 'Show your support for the #WorkThatWorks movement and raise awareness for the need for flexible working. Add this overlay to your profile picture!' Over on Twitter you can add this twibbon to your Twitter profile.
Last of all, you can sign up to Join the Movement to receive updates on #WorkThatWorks' progress over time.
Here at Digital Mums we’ve been rocking a #WorkThatWorks culture since we were born nearly three years ago and it’s been the most crucial part of our success. And tomorrow we’ll show you exactly why we do it by publishing our #WorkThatWorks manifesto. But for now support our movement people. #WorkThatWorks is the start of something big. Join us on the journey.