5 Reasons why we need to support the 2to3days sisterhood
Juliet Turnbull founded 2to3days to accelerate the pace of change of women’s equality in the workplace through the power of flexible working. She explains what flexible working can do for charities, the future of recruitment in the UK, and how we’ll all benefit from supporting the 2to3days sisterhood.
1. We’ve got women’s backs
2to3days is a jobs board, recruitment agency and community, closing the gap between employers and experienced female talent. For a long time, home life and work life have worked in parallel, and despite a sophisticated recruitment industry, employers have struggled to find the female talent that’s out there. Employers need cut-through, and women need to be talking to employers that get that we want to work differently.
Everything we do, we do because we’ve got women’s backs. There are masses of graduate programmes for women, but when you have a family, or responsibility for relatives, or you’re exhausted by what you’re doing and feel there’s more to life, our employment system no longer serves you. I believe the key to unlocking female equality in the workplace is flexible working.
I was a business coach in an era when there was a lot of talk about ‘having it all’. I don’t believe you can ‘have it all’, but you can have both. I was going to set up a coaching business called ‘Having Both’, then I was out walking my puppy and I thought, what are women saying when they say they want to have both? They say, “I want to work two to three days a week”. It’s not necessarily a literal statement, but it implies work-life integration and flexible working.
I’ve suspended judgement on what one woman wants to do, compared with another. We all want different things depending on our ambition, our available time, and our financial needs. There’s no right or wrong, only what each of us needs to do. Employers’ needs vary too.
We’ve grown an amazing reputation for the professional calibre of the women on our site, and for the consistently high quality of the business and professional roles that we attract.
2. A workplace that works for women works for everybody
If you enable women and men to work flexibly, with work-life integration, everyone benefits, including employers.
While I believe in flexible working for everybody, we are unapologetically championing women, because they represent half of the world’s population. I believe that if we champion women to lean in at work, that enables men to lean in at home. It’s not about the boardroom being more important than emptying the dishwasher. Each relies on the other.
Men can register on our site, and they make up 3% of our database. We want more men to work flexibly, but I don’t think we’ll sort out flexible working for men until we sort it out for women.
More women graduates are entering the workforce than men. Our younger generations expect greater job mobility, greater satisfaction, and purpose-driven employment. The problem is that, on average, women do three times more unpaid domestic and caring work than men, and they’ve had enough.
3. Flexible working increases productivity and profitability
People who choose to work flexibly are driven by a higher purpose – family, health, interests. Their life is about more than their job. On 2to3days, you’ll find highly-motivated people with emotional maturity, a high level of skills, insight and life experience, and abilities in problem-solving, creativity and supporting teams.
Currently, our society is not enabling women to work, and it’s costing our economy 23 billion pounds a year. The acute problem is in what the recruitment industry calls ‘experienced female talent’ or ‘lateral hires’ – women in mid-to-senior roles who are leaving the workforce – so we’re focusing on looking after those highly-skilled, professional women.
The women on 2to3days have a minimum of two A-levels, 87% have a degree, 32% have a masters and 14% have a doctorate. All of our roles are flexible business and professional roles, from boardroom to PA, across industry and across functional area.
From the economy’s point of view, flexible working delivers an 83% increase in productivity, a 25% increase in profits, a 76% increase in staff retention and a 10% reduction in sick leave. It works because you’re enabling people to integrate their work into their lives, so they are happier, more fulfilled and more loyal.
Embracing flexible and part-time working gives you access to a diverse and highly-skilled talent pool. It also saves you money because you’re not paying a full-time salary. But you are getting a full-time brain, and that doesn’t mean exploitation, it means that these people bring their A-game to their job.
4. People want to work for organisations that walk the walk
Without a shadow of a doubt, the pandemic has accelerated the pace of change and employers have made the tech investment in managing remote, agile and flexible teams.
Now people want to know what a company’s really like to work for. They’re researching your company’s culture, ethos and values, looking at your diversity and inclusion statement. They’ll want to ask questions about your working culture in job interviews.
If you want your business to be futureproof, you have to have an active ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policy. You can no longer just talk the talk – you will get caught out because it’s a buyer’s market.
Organisations have got to really promote their employer brand, to be open and transparent, and they’ve got to woo the women back – to show women that they’re walking the talk. At 2to3days we enable organisations to promote their brand to a targeted audience.
5. Flexible working is the future
Change is afoot. It’s one of the UN’s development goals to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. The government has put in policies, from shared parental leave since 2014, to the gender pay gap report of 2017, to the UK Equality Act of 2020. This year, they’ve reinstated a flexible working taskforce that is currently debating whether it should be policy that companies have to advertise all jobs flexibly.
We need to measure employees’ output rather than their time in the office. If employees are delivering high-quality work, does it matter when in their day or week they’re getting it done? There are some jobs that are full-time or market-driven, and we’re finding that many of them can be done from home, and not necessarily from an office in the city.
Flexibility is a two-way street. It commands greater collaboration, greater communication and greater understanding. Women need to be able to say, “I need to go now because I’m picking up my kids”, and not made to feel that they’re not enough. It comes from the executive team saying, “I’m out of here, my seven-year-old’s got ballet and I’m going to watch them.”
How can charities hire new talent through 2to3days?
You can post a job ad with us. A full-price ad costs £295 + VAT, and with our 25% charity discount, it’s £220 + VAT. Your ad will be live for a month, and we’ll promote it across social media and in our weekly newsletter. We also have more extensive packages available.
We have a good track record with women applying for roles in the charity sector – they’re in safe hands.