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How to retain professional women

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The most important factors that employers of women need to consider when looking to retain employees include a good work life balance, competitive salary and fulfilling work, according to 97% of respondents to a Robert Walters study.
The research, which surveyed over 500 professional women from a range of fields across the South Africa, also revealed that 91% of respondents felt that a collaborative and ethical workplace was an important factor when choosing whether or not to seek opportunities with a new employer.
Petra Cooper, manager of Robert Walters, comments: “In the face of a growing talent shortage, employers are under increasing pressure to respond to the priorities of professional women.
“Providing a competitive salary and ensuring that policies regarding work life balance and compensation are in line with, or exceeds, the standards for your industry are crucial to securing the best professionals,” she adds.
“With professional women also regarding fulfilling work as a priority employers should consider giving high potential employees the opportunity to move around different roles within the business, offering them the chance to put their transferable skills to use while still remaining with a single employer.”
The survey also investigated attitudes towards which specific employer policies would influence them to change jobs. 44% of women said that they would change jobs to work for an employer with a better maternity policy.
Cooper adds: “Despite significant changes in social attitudes to childcare, maternity policies can be still be a deciding factor for professional women when deciding whether or not to remain with an employer over the long term.
“While paid leave is an important aspect of a good maternity policy, employers should not underestimate the value of maintaining regular contact with women on maternity leave to help them remain engaged in their role and encouraging them to eventually return to work.”