Returning mothers are an untapped source of potential talent for businesses, says Roomana Hussain, Talent Coordinator and Executive Coach at Aviva. Working mothers are often overlooked and undervalued but Hussain explains why hiring them is great for business.
A mother herself, she specialises in maternity transition coaching at Aviva, which offers support to pregnant women, those planning to adopt and fathers taking paternity leave.
“When I had my second child, maternity transition coaching was really relevant to what I was going through – going out and coming back into an organisation. Once I was back, I started coaching women returning to work after being in their roles for maybe 10–15 years, some up to 20 years.
"The obstacles and challenges they found were phenomenal. Some went back to the same roles, others went back part-time and shared their responsibilities with others; some completely lost their responsibilities. When I moved to Aviva, I found that mothers returning to work didn’t have anyone to talk to. In 2016, Aviva launched its maternity-coaching programme.
“People want employers to invest time in them and recognise their skills. They have a hungry appetite to come back to work and are super-efficient because they have developed strong time-management skills. Life changes completely once you have a child, as does your outlook on life.
"Returning mothers have taken time out specifically to have a child and they will work hard, because they need to support their family! Somebody working four days a week will not necessarily work less efficiently than someone working full-time. Employers need to work with them rather than against them. They can offer a wellbeing space and provide support via mentors or buddy mothers.”
Find out more about Hussain’s services at firmvaluecoaching.com. For women returning to the workplace, check out She’s Back, by Lisa Unwin and Deb Khan at shesback.co.uk
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