Ben Black, Director, My Family Care

Work+Family Summary: Feb 2015

Ben Black, Director, My Family Care

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Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.

Ben Black's monthly summary of everything you need to know about work+family - female leadership, flexible working, gender diversity and a bit of childcare and eldercare news to boot...



As the election gets closer the three main parties (yes, we're including the Lib Dems) are starting to make various nonsensical childcare promises. Extending maternity leave and more 'free childcare' are the current favourites.

Maternity leave isn't the issue and the entitlement to free childcare is a fundamentally flawed system, as the latest research shows. We won't have sensible childcare policies until we agree whether the aim is good quality childcare or getting women back into the workforce.

Meanwhile the costs of childcare continue to rise inexorably according to the latest cost survey.


Research from Laing & Buisson found that 20% of care homes were sub-standard. Our own findings from Good Care Guide would suggest that's broadly accurate.

Meanwhile The Telegraph's Campaign - a day in the life of a bad care home - continued to shine a light on a sector in crisis.

Female leadership headlines from the across the pond

Plenty of it in February... Patricia Arquette used her Oscar acceptance speech to good effect, calling for equal pay in Hollywood. Geena Davis was quieter but far more eloquent on the same topic.

Meanwhile Cathy Engelbert became first among equals at Deloitte. And LinkedIn and Facebook joined forces to reverse falling numbers of women in tech (down from 35% of the total in 1985 to just 17% now).

UK news

Is it OK for a minister to go on maternity leave? Hmm, brave question, but one being asked of Labour's Rachel Reeves.

The CIPD made plenty of noise in February on the subject of gender diverse leadership and the IoD, the most traditional of the business lobbies, grabbed itself a female chair to join the party.

Alison Maitland's new book - Future Work - on the rise of soft power, is brilliant. Soft Power is coming, and reassuringly it is men opening the door.


Visitor numbers from the Work & Family Show proved that employers are finally waking up to the potential of encouraging talented mothers back into the workforce.

How easy is to be a millionaire and a woman? - Getting ever easier, according to the Telegraph.

McKinsey research

McKinsey was very busy in February producing some fascinating research on the Middle East (65% of companies now have gender diversity on the agenda at least).

And some not so good commentary on our very own BIS (the Department for Business Innovation and Skills). Anywhere can be a nice and family-friendly place to work if you don't worry about performance (yes that seems to be the BIS template).

And finally - diversity

If you really want to understand the business case for diversity, read this from Rory Sutherland in the Spectator. He's a genius and funny for good measure.

Ben Black

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Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.