Archive for category Research
Sageco was particularly chuffed to work with Diversity Council Australia on their recent research report – Why Older Women matter – launched last Thursday in Melbourne.
What we particularly love about this report is that it is a framework for action. As Kate McCormack, Mercy Health’s Executive Director of People, Learning and Culture said on the panel,
“This is a blueprint for your organisation. The hard work is done.”
The research generated a framework for action to assist organisations to attract, engage and retain older female workers, as well as to structure effective transitions into retirement.
The seven key enablers are:
- Source talent: tap into older femal talent
- Career and capabilities: Leverage older women’s ambition
- Cultivate culture: value older female workers
- Get flexible: Focus on flexibility for older female workers
- Invest in health and wellbeing: Work with older women’s wellbeing
- Focus on finances: Support older women’s financial independence
- Tailor transitions: Enable creative futures for older female workers
You can read an executive summary of the report or if you’re a DCA member, you can download a copy. We will unpack some of these enablers in future blogs.
This report is a call to action, and if you’d like some assistance for the next steps, then you should consider the Corporate Champion’s program. Sageco is a provider of the Corporate Champions program for organisations with 200+ employees. The Federal Government will fund $20 000 over 18 months for the following activities:
Contact Sageco for an application form.
We are keen collectors of statistics and research to support ageing workforce initiatives. If you need a few facts and figures for your business case, you might enjoy watching our latest compilation that we use in our Navigate workshops for managers.
And congratulations to AIM NSW & ACT on their excellent discussion paper on Engaging and Retaining Older Workers researched by Dr Lucy Burgmann. Definitely worth a read.
It’s International Women’s Day on Friday. And we particularly want to raise a toast to mature women. In our experience, Diversity Council Australia bears this out, mature women are a group who are most likely to be undervalued, underemployed, discouraged and departed when it comes to workplaces.
Some years ago, I was working on a major mature workers retention project within the public sector. The project manager – let’s call her Yvonne – was an energetic and insightful senior woman in her early 60s. She had never quite cracked the ‘executive’ level of the public service despite numerous attempts, but she was obviously admired and respected. With surprisingly good humour, Yvonne shared a story of her early working days, when women weren’t invited to the superannuation information sessions. She remembers asking if she should be attending, but was told that given she would be getting married and having a family, she didn’t need to worry about it! Despite the discouragement, she pursued superannuation advice; she missed out on being part of a defined benefits scheme by a matter of weeks. Over the last ten years, she’s watched her male colleagues retire with comparatively lucrative superannuation, indexed for life.
Yvonne loved working, and despite what might look like a really successful career, she found that in her early 60s, she wasn’t considered for new opportunities being “over-qualified”. She’s now departed the workplace and hopes to consult to continue participating in the workforce.
There are tens of thousands of stories like this one.
What do mature women really want? What can employers give them?
Identity: Mature women want to be valued and recognised for their work and non-work roles. The much held assumption of retirement or full-time elder / child care for this co-hort is limiting. Providing support for making decisions about their own future – which could equally include starting a new career or returning to work or developing their role, is something all employers should consider.
Money: Mature women want financial security. Many women have been disadvantaged with retirement savings. Tailored, focussed financial advice for mature women is imperative.
Career: Women aged 55+ form the fastest growing labour pool. Designing roles that particularly attract mature women will stand any employer in good stead in a market where skills shortage is a major challenge. Providing career coaching and development opportunities for mature women will empower them to challenge the assumption of retirement or underemployment.
Health: Mature women spend a lot of time caring for others – often to the detriment of their own health. What programs can employers put in place to particularly support healthy ageing for women?
Relationships: Mature women spend a lot of time caring for others – but who is caring for them? Mature women want happy, healthy relationships. Employers who recognise and acknowledge the relationship demands that mature women juggle and structure work demands accordingly will benefit.
One might argue that these five things are relevant to men and women; and you’re right, they are. But there are points of emphasis in each area that are particular to mature women. Providing a structured framework for women to have conversations and take action will reap benefits. Some organisations we work with have used Envisage as a means of providing this framework to mature women. Some are holding International Women’s Day seminars specifically for mature women; they were oversubscribed in a matter of days!
You can road test the Envisage half day seminar on Thursday 21 March in Sydney. You may like to invite some mature women in your organisation as an International Women’s Day gesture?
We have the opportunity to transform undervalued to valued, underemployed to richly employed, discouraged to empowered and departed to recruited and retained.
More information and links:
Much of our Envisage research supports the catch cry that we often hear: “I would be happy to work longer, but would need to work differently.” The term ‘telework’ is hardly new; it was first coined in the 1970s as a solution for reducing traffic congestion. It’s taken longer than expected for employers to catch on, but with advances in broadband technology it is an ‘easy to implement option’ for flexibility. For mature age office workers, teleworking could be part of the answer to staying in the workforce longer – but working differently.
Below are three links to useful research we’ve unearthed in National Telework Week.
Great data to support your business case for allowing employees to telework.
A Canadian online article about the productivity advantages of teleworking.
Australian article from The Conversation that helps you consider the social impact of telework and issues associated with telework. Includes links to further rewearch. How do you match the telework job with the right individual?
The application of flexible work conditions is often patchy at best. Mainly because managers don’t feel equipped to address flexibility requests. But if we want to keep mature workers in the workforce, then flexibility must be addressed. Is it time to have a conversation with your mature workers about flexible work options?
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