The numbers around workforce participation of women tell a pitiful story.
- The gender pay gap between men and women is 13.4%. That is, women earn an average of 13.4% less than men. Consider that statistic in the context that since 1987 women have outnumbered men in university enrolments.
- For women at retirement age, their superannuation balances are 21.6% lower than those of men the same age.
- Between the ages of 30-39, women are three times more likely than men to be out of the labour force.
But there is another number that we should also be talking about. And that is the $25 billion that would be added to the economy if even an extra 6% of women return to the workforce.
As a for-purpose business, not only do we want to support our clients to extend their working hours or find more time in their day for other commitments or things they love, we are also dedicated to another group. That is, our Moncierges.
Recognising mother’s work
Jo is one of our incredible housekeeping nanny Moncierges. She is also a mum of five kids ranging from 10 to 19 years old.
Before she had kids, Jo completed an apprenticeship as an optical mechanic but stopped working when she became a mum.
In early 2019 she decided that it was time to return to the workforce. Her youngest child was 8 and she wanted a job that she could balance between school hours so she was still there for her kids.
“I saw the mtime recruitment ad and I checked all the boxes,” recalls Jo. “I wasn’t specifically looking for a cleaning or nannying job, but I’m a mum, that’s what I’ve done for almost 20 years. It’s what I’m best at.
“I love to know that the skillset I have as a mum is valued and put to good use. People often take it for granted but feeling valued for those things is really important. It’s important for self-confidence and your own sense of who you are and to feel like you have a place in society.”
That’s the crux of what we are trying to achieve here - recognising a mother’s work to lift the burden for our clients and give our Moncierges confidence in the skills they have developed as mothers. Not all of our Moncierges are mothers, but for those who are, that feeling of being valued for their caring and household management skills is incredible.
“I really like the mtime story and the purpose behind the business,” adds Jo. “I’ve been a stay at home mum for many years and it was challenging to run a house and raise the kids. The fact that there was someone out there who recognised that people like me needed help really resonated with me. It was something that I wanted to be a part of.”
For many women who are returning to the workforce after many years of absence, it can be a daunting and challenging experience. But we look more deeply at what each individual can bring to the role, rather than honing in on gaps in a resume.
“mtime has been so supportive of me and I think that’s something that stands them apart from other employers,” explains Jo. “It’s not just about what they offer the client but also what they can do for me.
“So much has changed since I was last in the workforce. It makes it difficult to get back into certain industries. With mtime, I didn’t feel like I was in direct competition with younger or more qualified people. I actually went in very confident and felt very well supported and welcomed by mtime.
“There’s a lot of reassurance and communication. Even if it’s just a text message or an email, you feel like part of the system. On one of my early shifts, my daughter broke her arm so I had to be with her while she had a procedure. I’ve never felt uncomfortable or judged for my responsibilities outside of work.”
Being a Moncierge is a job that Jo enjoys, she developed great friendships with the families she works with and enjoys knowing what is going on in their lives and businesses.
These friendships are important to Jo, but so is the knowledge that the work she is doing is truly valued.
“Having been a stay at home mum for so long you do these chores and roles every day, it’s obligatory,” says Jo. “When you do these things at home, no one notices. But when you do the same chores for another family it gives you a sense of purpose and pride. My clients show so much appreciation and I really do feel like I’m making a difference.
“When I’m talking to other parents who are looking to re-enter the workforce but may not have skills or a career they want to go back to, I recommend mtime to them. It’s a way to get your foot back in the door but it’s also nice to support other parents who need help.
“I’ve got nothing but glowing things to say about mtime. Having been away from work for 17 years, I’ll admit it was a really daunting thing to go back. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found mtime. They gave me the confidence to feel like I was knowledgeable in the role which in turn gives the client's confidence in me as their Moncierge.”
Join us at mtime
We have new families across Sydney and Melbourne signing up to mtime every day. We’re always on the lookout for new Moncierges who have the skills required to help busy families with their cooking, cleaning, childcare and chores.
Whether, like Jo, you have been out of the workforce for many years, or you are simply looking for a way to make a difference in an enjoyable job with loads of support, take the first step and apply to become a Moncierge.