Dear Aunty B,
The majority of my staff are female. I have great maternity leave provisions but my female staff are not coming back to work after having a baby.
You are a female (with balls). What can I do to attract them back?
Stop being sexist for a start. What is a female with balls?? A juggler? An acrobat? Honestly. You need to ask your wife, female friends and closest staff members if you are sexist. And then LISTEN to their answer. Your staff could well feel they don’t want to come back because you might ask where their balls are!
But may I also add an observation based on no empirical evidence whatsoever.
Increasingly I have come across women who go off to have a baby and resign their jobs on the way out the door. They say they are bored and want a change.
I am also seeing women at small business functions seeking information on starting or growing a business. Now it could be that we are witnessing a major shift here – that the so-called female entrepreneur revolution that was meant to take place in the early 1990s, and failed to materialise, has begun and there is a wave of females starting their own businesses.
Unfortunately we have very little empirical evidence of this because the Australian Bureau of Statistics likes to change its methodology as often as bureaucrats change underpants, so it is very hard to get long term data on this.
So why are women marching out the door? The internet is reliable enough for them to run businesses from home and the technical services and customers are there to support them.
I must admit I am a little in awe of them. When I went off to have kids I wanted to return to a familiar job, familiar colleagues and a familiar environment after having my world turned upside down by squealing babies.
I suggest you do exit interviews on your workers on the way out the door. Get a professional in to do them so that you get as impartial a view as possible. Then try to figure out whether it’s you or the revolution, and what you can do about it.
Your Aunty B