Ben Black, CEO, My Family Care

Work+Family Summary: June 2017

Ben Black, CEO, 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...


Women in leadership - disappointing results

Deloitte's "Women in the Boardroom - A Global Perspective" is about the most comprehensive report on how women are doing in leadership roles across the world. It's a bit dry but the detail is impressive. And the headlines? In the last 2 years, women with proper boardroom positions have nudged up from 12% to 15%. Disappointing progress on most levels, but Deloitte finds lots of reasons to be positive pointing out that "inclusive leadership" is accepted everywhere as the way to go and the numbers will keep ticking up.

There was the same disappointing progress in evidence in Tilney's report into the number of funds managed by women - 9.2% up from 8.5% in the last year.

Flexible working

How we live and work will change dramatically in the next decade. The best performance-driven businesses increasingly push the boundaries of what's possible. But plenty of bad practice remains, as Aviva's Working Lives study illustrates. Two thirds of employees prioritise flexible working over everything else - but 20% of people still dare not raise the subject with their manager...

Eldercare and Dementia Tax

Carers Week came and went and if there wasn't as much noise as usual about working carers, then the election was largely to blame. The Dementia Tax may have been only part of Theresa May's implosion but expect to hear more of it from all parties in the next few years.

Meanwhile a report from GRID found that caring issues - both long-term and emergency situations - was the main cause of all absences by a country mile.

Shared Parental Leave

It's all starting to get a bit messy. The whole rationale behind SPL was that the world - families and businesses alike - would be a lot better if men and women were treated equally as parents and employees. The take-up remains frustratingly slow - with yet more research, this time from Office Genie, highlighting the glacial rate of progress.

The case law, however, is starting to catch up with those businesses that, for lots of good but often historical reasons, treat the sexes differently. See Capita Management vs Ali and JP Morgan's recent travails for the latest news on SPL. For more in depth views and advice please do speak to us.

Social mobility

Normally social mobility is slightly out of our area of comment. But equally, businesses committed to getting the best talent to the top will have many of the same challenges around social mobility as they do about gender. In that context, it was refreshing to see that no less than 22 MFC clients appeared in the Social Mobility Commission's Top 50 Employers. Congratulations to one and all.

The slow moving childcare market

The childcare market is like any other, but it moves more slowly. In 10 years' time, you will be able to go online and search for, review, book, and pay for the childcare you want, when and where you need it. We are getting there on the emergency childcare side. 20% of all our nanny bookings are now completed within 5 minutes. The next 20% will be a bit more difficult and will involve childminders embracing smart phones and booking apps. Watch this space.

Meanwhile the Modern Families Index highlighted the increasingly important role dads are playing. No less than seven out of 10 fathers work flexibly to do some of the caring.

Battle of the Sexes

The infamous tennis match when Billie Jean King destroyed old-fashioned misogynist Bobby Riggs and did wonders for equality across the world, is about to be turned into a film. That hasn't stopped John McEnroe wading into the debate. I've been in trouble before when it comes to female tennis... Please read to the end before commenting!

Ben Black

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Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.