More info on the Opt In/Opt Out

After posting my thoughts on the Opt In/Opt Out article in the NYX magazine section, I got an email from Sherry Lombardi and Kerry Bowbliss from Hulafrog.  Two saavy women entrepreneurs who can speak on this topic for hours. 

They surveyed their audience, over 2100 women with children under the age of 18 (over 97% of them had a child under age 12 at home) about the issue surrounding staying at home or staying in work.  Not surprising the results show an internal conflict between opting in and opting out.  Almost 2/3s of the women polled were all searching for a happy medium.  Keep in mind that 45% of the women polled were full time working mothers, 30% were staying at home and 25% were working part-time.  So a good mix. 

Below is some information about what matters most to Moms.  What Kerry says is spot on. 

“Think of what our workforce is missing,” says Kerry Bowbliss,
Hulafrog’s Co-founder & Chief Publisher. “Of the women who have
opted out, 76% have a college degree or higher and 58% have between 6
and 15 years of professional experience. And those numbers go up among
the full-time working moms that would prefer to work part time. It’s a
huge talent opportunity for those companies that find even just a few
ways to be more family-friendly.”

With regards to re-entering the workforce, 8.5 out of 10 stay-at-home
moms plan to “opt back in,” and 2 out of 3 will look for part-time
work. Of those women looking to return to work, 89% worry about
obstacles to finding a good job.

  •      57 % of stay-at-home moms say they would have continued working if their employer offered the ability to work from home.
  •      Yet, only 14 % of full-time working moms work from home two or more days per week.
  •      Only 30% of moms believe that companies today are good at allowing parent employees to balance work & family life

 Their top three concerns are:

  •      Hours won’t be ‘family friendly’
  •      Work references outdated
  •      Professional skills not current

When it comes to what matters most to parents when considering their
ideal job situation, flexibility trumps all. The survey found the top 5
benefits for moms are:

1.    Flexible Schedule                     74%

2.    Salary/Pay                         67%

3.    Good Boss or Mentors                48%

4.    Challenging & Rewarding Work     48%

5.    Health Insurance Benefits         47%

This conversation around opting in and opting out continues regardless of the road you have taken.  Having flexibility is the key.  Having employers who trust their employees to do that job that they were hired to do, wherever and whenever they need to do it is the win win for everyone. 

What Kerry and Sherry did was smart.  They did what all smart entrepreneurs do, they listen to their market.  This information comes straight from the market and what they have learned is valuable information vs a stream of conscious thought.  Data worth reading.