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Recruiting Women: Retaining the Female Workforce

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Many recruiters have a hard enough time attracting female workers to companies, but it's even harder to retain women workers once they are hired and working in these companies. The reasons vary, but companies have valid concerns with this scenario happening far too often. Read on to find out how recruiting women can help a company and how to do it right.

As a female, I understand the need to be strong and self-reliant — especially if I’m in a male-dominated atmosphere. I respect others’ positions but also work hard to present myself as an independent woman like many other females. Many females work hard in the office, but many also have to deal with the idea that they may want to work at home once they are ready to start a family. This is often a tricky situation, as a businesswoman has to find the time to juggle a family and a career.

Gloria Cannon, a legal recruiter for BCG Attorney Search, says that the recruiting industry, especially in the legal sector, needs to be more flexible when it comes to women. Although this may be a touchy topic due to female and male work tensions, it’s one that needs to be addressed.

''The key is not to only attract women but also retain them. It may sound sexist, but, yes, many companies have trouble losing females because many of them will leave to raise families,'' Cannon says.

The truth is that this is becoming more common in professional settings. So what do companies need to do? They need to come up with specific strategies to address the flexibility matter among women. A female workforce is just as important as one that has a lot of males.

How Recruiters Can Help Companies Retain Female Employees
  1. Flexibility should be something that recruiters offer. ''One of the good perks companies can provide is to think outside the box and be flexible with work requirements,'' Cannon says. She explains that employers can offer flex time and that with today’s technology many employees can work outside of the office. Cannon adds that it’s good for employers to offer female job candidates ''a flexible schedule where they can work and raise a family.''

  2. Telecommuting is a viable option for recruiters to consider. Cannon says that she knows of a female associate who worked in a Los Angeles firm and had to relocate and rely on technology. She made the move, and her company allowed her to telecommute. It was easy for her, and she got all her work done! Because of technological advances, people can now work from home with a lot more ease.

  3. Daycare options at work are something recruiters need to consider. One of Cannon’s friends has an on-site daycare center at her company. While it is not possible for all companies to have daycare centers on their grounds, it makes the company seem very ''female-friendly.''

  4. Mentoring programs, especially for females, are good for recruitment. Women who are in mentoring programs and are mentored by females can get on good career paths. ''In the long run, companies lose very talented women because the women feel they can’t juggle both aspects of their lives properly; they may leave the workforce to [care for their] families,'' says Cannon. ''It can definitely happen. It’s becoming more and more prevalent in the workforce. Depending on the industry, a female mentoring program helps [a lot].''
Cannon stresses the importance of companies’ focusing on keeping talented women rather than losing out. She emphasizes that a rigid workplace can be costly.

''Flexibility is the key, especially in law — also, making sure that their career progression isn’t harmed by flex time,'' Cannon says. ''[Companies] should show that they do value females that stay in the workplace.''

For more tips on recruiting women in various industries, visit the National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science’s website.
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 workers  businesses  employers  industry  Working at home  males

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