Sarah Wyse from Wyse Women gives us her top tips for creating the best role for your career and your family
Returning to work after baby is never a black and white response. It’s a mix of complex decisions involving the when, the who, and the how; and then there is the logistical juggling to consider in making those decisions a reality. While there is no one path that is right for every new-mum, what is certain is that a flexible approach is needed, both from employees and employers.
Sarah Wyse from Wyse Women recognised this, so set about creating a platform that allows better sharing and connecting of flexible working arrangements for professional and experienced women, who also happen to be mums.
‘Lots of companies want to hire for Monday to Friday, 9 to 5pm,’ says Sarah. ‘But when you scrap that, suddenly you’re opening up your opportunities as a business to all these amazing and talented people and expertise. It’s skill based hiring, as opposed to hour based recruitment.’
We sat down with Sarah to chat more about Wyse Women and her tips for returning to the workforce post-baby.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and Wyse Women?
I am a proud Londoner and Mum of two year-old Sebastian (affectionately known as Seabass!). I moved to Sydney in 2008 on holiday, and have been here ever since. After a 15 year long career in media and tech, a few months into maternity leave, I started Wyse Women – a social enterprise business empowering women to reach their full potential by connecting them with exciting, diverse and importantly flexible professional opportunities.
What was your vision for the business when you started and how has this materialised?
The concept for Wyse Women launched during my maternity leave, when it dawned on me that there was a complete lack of part-time and flexible work opportunities for professional women. As a huge advocate of supporting and retaining female talent in our industry I wanted to find a solution that offered us a way to continue our participation in the workplace, but also recognised our increasing need for balance and flexibility. Little over a year on, we have a fully operational members only network of professional women using our platform daily to find their next flexible role. On the flipside we are helping companies big and small, to increase the number of senior women in their workplace whilst providing fantastically novel ways to recruit for talent that was previously hidden.
What’s most important to you in business?
Working with great people who share the same values - being fair, honest and good.
What are the biggest challenges to women in the workplace right now?
Lack of flexible work means many women either opt-out or take roles that don’t utilise their skills and experience. This has a huge and negative impact not just on women but on businesses, our future leaders, and the economy. It’s been proven that with a diverse mix of people (gender being just one factor in diversity), the bottom line can grow double digits. Creating more flexible working opportunities will enable many women to come back into work, fuelling the economy whilst setting an equal view to future leaders that it’s not only white middle aged men who can take the top jobs.
What are your tips for women re-entering the corporate space after having a baby?
Get really focussed on what it is that you are producing and what it is that you are being hired to do. If you can show a business your experience and how you can transfer your skills to produce a particular outcome for a company, they get less worried about asking you ‘but can you be here from 9 -5, Monday to Friday?’because you’re able to deliver them an outcome in the capacity you need.
What would you suggest to women struggling with flexibility, balance and workload within their existing roles?
Be honest with yourself, and work out what it is you really want for the future. From there it’s about identifying the right opportunities, and having the confidence to back yourself. You can check out our latest blogfor more tips.
In what way do business, particular corporates, need to adapt right now to cater for this employee?
A focus on outcomes rather than hours clocked is a great start. I would also say hiring for a job someone can do rather than has done, has seen many forward thinking leaders and their business benefit enormously. Businesses who focus on diversity of skills, experience, gender, ethnicity and culture will be the ones still standing in years to come.
And what’s in-store in 2018 for you and Wyse Women?
Our mission to empower and increase participation of senior women in the workforce through flexible work remains strong. All of our members will continue to benefit from flexible opportunities as we partner with more progressive businesses and develop more services that support women professionally and personally.
Wyse Women: Sign up to our platform is simple and takes just a few minutes. Whether you’re a potential member of business looking to support flexible work, we would love to connect with you.
For more about how to register check out below.
Sarah is a digital and business executive with 16 years’ experience in the media, marketing and communications industry. She is the founder and CEO of technology platform Wyse Women, empowering women to reach their full potential through connecting it’s fantastically talented members with flexible work opportunities.