Cabrera, E.
People and Strategy, 32 (1)
Magazine Article
Area of focus: 
Flexible Working

This brief and practical article from a human resources journal argues that women leave organisations long before hitting the "glass ceiling" largely because increasing work demands in their lives come into conflict with inflexible workplace policies.

From ongoing consultation with professional women, the author has assembled a list of five of the most important factors contributing to women staying in their roles. These are: flexibility, including provision of flexible working hours, telecommuting, part-time options and the ability to temporarily scale back one's career; caregiving support, such as paid parental leave and options for re-entry; maintaining contact with women who have left, such as through alumni networks or options for project work; ensuring the recruitment function welcomes women's career re-entry; and fostering a supportive organisational culture where flexible work is not stigmatised and efforts are made to measure success towards diversity targets. The article includes a brief description of Deloitte's "mass career customisation" career planning model.