Telling the truth about SME life today

Category: Gender warrior

Mission: Get mums back to work

Getting mums back to work is a problem the government has pretty much given up on. Mums are just too tricky. They are experienced so won’t take menial jobs, they usually don’t get benefits so don’t qualify for Jobcentre Plus, and they want part-time work, which employers won’t necessarily offer.

Where the state stops, Women Like Us steps in. The organisation is primarily a recruitment website for women looking for part-time or temporary work, though it has evolved into a one-stop shop for women looking to re-enter the jobs market, offering coaching, mentoring and advice.

Founded by Emma Stewart and Karen Mattison, Women Like Us is a fully commercial operation with a social mission. “If you ask me which is more important, making a profit or helping mums, I’d say both,” says Mattison. “Because if we don’t look after the bottom line, then we can’t help anyone.”

Since the pair set up Women Like Us in 2005, the firm has become a recruitment powerhouse, helping 15,700 women. Turnover last year hit £2.3m. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation estimates half a million women want to work but don’t because they are unable to find part-time jobs – suggesting the hard work has just begun for Women Like Us.

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