Work-life balance hinders careers of Australia’s female professionals

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of women in Australia believe having children affects your career, compared with 53% of men, according to a poll of 873 professionals by professional services recruiter Morgan McKinley Australia.

The research on mid- to senior-level female managers show Australia’s boardrooms continue to be occupied predominantly by men, despite pro-diversity initiatives and policies of recent years.

Only 15% of survey respondents had opted out of the workplace for more than 12 months, but most (69%) had done so to look after and care for dependants.

Although around 80% of organisations offer some form of flexible working, 30% of respondents revealed they had chosen not to apply for a promotion over the past year. The main reason given by 60% of those women was that they felt they would not be able to achieve a work-life balance in a more senior role.

To achieve this work-life balance, 77% of respondents want a tailored approach to flexible working (flexi hours, extra time during school holidays, working at home) that meets individual needs rather than a blanket provision.

Recent analysis by management consultancy firm McKinsey, ‘Moving mind-sets on gender diversity: McKinsey Global Survey results’, revealed women are just as ambitious as men, but they are much less confident that their “companies’ cultures can support their rise”.

Morgan McKinley suggests a five-point plan for companies to address the issues:

1. Ensure leadership is committed to creating an inclusive culture

2. Be transparent and pro-active

3. Avoid a one-size-fits-all approach

4. Create balanced shortlists

5. Avoid complacency – show you care

Copy from Recruiter 28th April edition.


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