Ben Black, Director, My Family Care

Work+Family Summary: March 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...


Childcare: the end of Childcare Vouchers

Childcare vouchers look set to disappear in September whoever wins the election but over 70% of all employers (according to our own research) are worried about communicating the changes. That's not surprising.

We don't know exactly what the changes are yet; there might be a stay of execution if the Govt. is found to have wrongly appointed NSI as the provider (we waiting on various senior Judges to opine currently); and it won't be obvious to all parents whether to opt in or out of the new scheme.

For all you need to know please have a look at the excellent Changes to Childcare Vouchers HR Resource Pack we put together with care-4.

Eldercare: supporting carers

Employers for Carers released some interesting new findings. 7 out of 10 of the UK's working carers feel isolated. Identifying carers and finding meaningful ways to support them in what can be incredibly difficult transition period will be one of the HR priorities of the next twenty years.

Female leadership

Cranfield released its annual figures of FTSE female directorships to the usual PR blitz. I find them slightly depressing.  Sure the headline-numbers look good, but scratch below the surface and still less than 9% of senior executive positions are held by women.

The conversation needs to be about talent and understanding that if half the best talent is female then the current state of affairs is a massive opportunity lost. I think the Grant Thornton global Women in Business research is a much more useful piece of work. It's an 8 minute read and contains some brilliant lessons for business, Government and Society to fix the problem.


  • Mary Portas decided that M&S's problem was lack of a woman at the top. Poor Marc Bolland!
  • India failed spectacularly to meet its own gender diversity targets
  • The WOW International Women's Day felt like it hit critical mass with headlines everywhere
  • Uber announced a joint gender initiative with the United Nations - which the UN swiftly pulled out of. Ouch
  • A BIS survey found that 40% of all dads regretted not taking more paternity leave
  • On the international stage Germany decided to also go down the quota route for supervisory boards, whilst research from Japan found that nearly half of women want to be housewives!
  • McKinsey's Saadia Zahidi illustrated how Muslim women are starting to make waves - some 40 million have joined the workforce in the last 10 years
  • Compulsory reporting of gender pay figures might make it onto the statue book
  • And PwC's Women in Work Index showed the UK moving from 18th to 14th place.

Lastly, Vodafone was the star employer of March, with ambitious plans to standardise enhanced maternity packages across the globe. Powerful stuff from one of the UK's most confident employers...

Ben Black

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Regular work+family updates for
HR and diversity professionals.