I spotted The Daisy Chain in local advertisements, and immediately wanted to know more about what they did. The Daisy Chain provides a connection for new mums to family friendly employers. We can only imagine what going back to work can feel like for new Mums, so we were intrigued to find out more. We got in touch with Louise Deverell-Smith who founded The Daisy Chain. Let's find out more…
A new platform for mums connects them with family friendly employers…
A new online platform has been launched to connect new mums with family friendly employers. Endorsed by industry bodies such as Urban Land Institute and with major employers such as Knight Frank and Gerald Eve on the platform, The Daisy Chain aims to help working mums get back on the employment ladder and tackle gender inequality in the workplace.
According to research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission as many as 54,000 women lost their jobs in 2016 due to maternity discrimination. One in five mothers experienced harassment or negative comments related to pregnancy or flexible working.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies and the parliamentary women and equalities select committee have both cited a lack of flexible working options for mothers returning to work as a key contributor to the gender pay gap.
Additionally losses to the wider economy from mothers being kept out of work are significant, with a major OECD study earlier this year estimating growth in the 35 OECD nations would increase by 20 percent over the next 20 years if female workforce participation was equivalent to that for men.
Many firms are already taking action, with 122 financial services firms representing almost half the sector signing the Women in Finance Charter committing to ambitious targets on improving female representation at senior levels. Platforms like The Daisy Chain can assist these efforts by focusing on one of the most prominent barriers to equal employment.
Louise Deverell-Smith, founder and director of The Daisy Chain, said: “After working in recruitment I became more aware that many mums were missing out on employment due to employers not being flexible to mum’s needs, especially when it comes to childcare. There are plenty of family-friendly, flexible companies that have signed up to The Daisy Chain that are keen to take on new mums.”
The Daisy Chain is free for mums, and allows them to match and connect with employers to enhance their careers and work-life balance. Mums can register and provide information about their likes, interests and what they are looking for in a role, with the site running a ‘no CVs’ system to make it easier for users. Mums are then matched to potential family-friendly employers who can then get in touch. Crucially, mums can state their availability, staying in control of their time and keeping the flexibility that is essential for new parents.
Louise Deverell-Smith, founder and director of The Daisy Chain, said: “I know how hard it is going back to work having had a baby, not to mention just going to work in the morning and dealing with the feelings you may have about whatever ‘mum’ issues arise. So in addition to our match + connect service, working mums can also find helpful advice from our Daisy Chain contributors, including our fashion stylist, confidence coach, fitness and nutritionist expert, to help new mums readjust.”
We then move onto hear from some of the companies The Daisy Chain works with…
Liz Waller, executive director at Urban Land Institute UK, said: “At the Urban Land Institute we are proud to support initiatives that improve diversity within the property sector, with schemes such as our UrbanPlan educational outreach programme focused on bringing more women and people from different ethnicities and less well-off backgrounds into the industry. We are happy to endorse platforms like The Daisy Chain that are invaluable in making a traditionally male-dominated sector more accessible to women."
Paul Hawtin, UK HR executive director at CBRE, said: “CBRE are passionate about pro-actively supporting women and their careers. This is demonstrated by our Women’s Network which has supported the career advancement of our women for over 11 years. We are committed to making sure our people feel supported and empowered to perform at their best and to attract a diverse range of talent into the business. We are delighted to support platforms such as The Daisy Chain which plays a key role in providing those opportunities.”
Michela Hancock, senior director of development at Greystar Europe, said: “Platforms like The Daisy Chain that help mums back to work are essential. Many employers are catching up to the different perspective that mothers often bring, such as a greater focus on the value of time management and efficiency. With today’s technology, flexible working options make perfect sense for unlocking the immense potential of this vast talent pool.”
Sally Chacatté, partner and group head of HR at Knight Frank, said: “It is fantastic to see something like The Daisy Chain which will play an important role in bringing mums back into the workplace. All employers are keen to encourage talented mums back into work but many mums have often found that connecting with employers that can give them the set-up they need has been difficult. The Daisy Chain will help remedy that problem.”
Felicie Krikler, director at Assael Architecture, said: “One of the biggest barriers to diversity and female representation in the workplace is the lack of support for new parents going back to work. Having three children myself, I know the stress and strain of having to juggle earning an income and finding quality childcare. New platforms such as The Daisy Chain will make it easier to match up employers like mine with new mothers coming back to work. It is an invaluable tool in breaking down these obstacles which I hope the sector will wholeheartedly endorse.”
Madeleine McDougall, acting global head of commercial real estate at Lloyds Bank, said: “Support from employers that understand the stresses involved in going back to work is incredibly important for mums – speaking from my experience, having an employer that allowed flexibility when inevitable childcare issues arose was a lifesaver! Platforms like The Daisy Chain go hand-in-hand with initiatives like the Lloyd’s Bank Returners Scheme – which helps mums and dads that have been out of the City for over 5 years – in making what is often a difficult process for new parents much easier.”
Emilie Thysse, founder and managing partner at Yellow Door, said: “Our team at Yellow Door is living proof that flexible working works – all of our team members have the kinds of flexible working arrangements that The Daisy Chain was set up to connect people with. If it can work for a whole team, it can work for most employers.
“Working mums are usually the most hardworking, diligent and reliable workforce you could hope for – any mum knows how much their productivity shoots through the roof once they have to fit everything into small windows of time planned with military precision! Firms signing up to platforms like The Daisy Chain can often find far better qualified and experienced workers than they would at many traditional recruitment sites.”
Debra Yudolph, partner at SAY Property Consulting LLP, said: “I think The Daisy Chain is a brilliant platform for mums (and dads) to find employment that works for them. It also provides much needed support – I know that having a baby and leaving work can be very isolating and the steps back into work are often challenging, so having a team of experts who offer advice and support is really valuable.
“As an industry, we have to do so much more to encourage diversity and equality, and this is a great tool for businesses both large and small to find skilled people from a talent pool that is often ignored.”
Employers on The Daisy Chain
- Knight Frank
- Marsh & Parsons
- Mr and Mrs Clarke
- Opus Land
- Deverell Smith
- Gerald Eve
- Yellow Door
Have you come across family friendly employers? What is your experience of going back to work post children?