I published the following post well over a year ago, but I want to republish it now because I think it’s just as true and valid now (if not more so) than it was in early 2008. We’ve come so far, but there is much work to do to level the playing field in the business world and eliminate the gender gap. Unconventional thinking like that discussed below is just one way to get there.
Ever since I left the corporate world in 2004 to be a stay-at-home mom to my triplets, I’ve wondered something. It’s not rocket science. In fact, this thought seems so simple to me, so obvious and makes such sense that it’s beyond my comprehension why more companies haven’t considered it. Ready for my genius? Here you go:
Why don’t more companies hire stay-at-home moms (or dads) as consultants, freelancers or as telecommuting employees? Many of us have an enormous amount of experience and knowledge in our respective fields garnered from our years working prior to choosing to stay at home with our children, and if you let us work from home and make our own hours, we’ll probably be willing to work for a lot less money and produce superior results.
What? Mr. CEO says that he needs employees who are available to be in the office during business hours. I call bull!
What? Mr. CEO says that he can’t trust someone with kids around to complete work on time. I call major bull!
I could go on and on with the arguments against hiring stay-at-home moms to take on management and executive roles in companies from the comfort of their own homes, but I’d have a counterargument for every single one of them. It just makes sense to leverage the knowledge and experience of these women. What an incredible, untapped talent pool!
And I’m not talking about hiring assistants and customer service representatives here.Â I’m talking about hiring experts in their fields. The women who left their careers by choice when they were working in management and executive level positions in order to be at home with their children. Most of these women are very capabable of meeting the needs of a corporate position around their duties at home if given the opportunity to telecommute with a flexible schedule. I work until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning many nights each week to complete the necessary work for my business – the business I started to meet my unconventional schedule but that I run professionally and successfully despite my odd hours. Imagine what a corporation could get from me or other women like me if they let go of their traditional ways of thinking that work has to be done in the office during conventional business hours.
So again I ask, why aren’t more companies noticing this pool of talent available to them at a lower than expected price if they were willing to make some concessions in terms of telecommuting and scheduling? I just don’t get it.
Of course, there are some companies who are catching on. Check out this article from the Wall Street Journal to learn the details. And two more companies that make use of virtual experts, particularly women, that you should check out are Womenkind and Newstex (full disclosure — both are clients of mine). It seems to me that the companies who tap into this pool of talent sooner rather than later will position themsevles quite well in the short and long term.
What do you think?
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