Mums the word. David MacKenzie and Louise Karim of Mums@Work which is a career hub exclusively catering to mothers in the UAE Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI: Employers must consider flexible working hours for mothers as a massive pool of highly qualified talent remains untapped in the UAE, a career hub dedicated to mums has found.

Louise Karim, managing director of the online Mums@Work, which is backed by independent recruitment firm Mackenzie Jones, told XPRESS that a recent survey conducted by the career hub in association with YouGov found that 77 per cent of mothers in the UAE, who have put their careers on the backburner for the sake of their children, are keen to get back to a job.

Part-time option

But as it turns out, 49 per cent of them can do so only if there are flexible or part-time options available. The sample covered around 1,000 mums aged between 30 and 39. According to the survey, the biggest barrier for mums returning to the workplace was lack of flexibility, with more than 38 per cent of women claiming they couldn’t juggle family and workplace commitments.

Karim said women need a degree of flexibility in the workplace because of the significant role they play as mums at home. “In countries like the UK, Australia and US, employers offer a number of part-time, flexible and job-share options. Companies in the UAE must introduce something similar.”

She said the number one driver for the mums surveyed to return to work was financial stability, while 19 per cent cited independence as the main factor. She said there is a huge population of women in the UAE who have taken time off to raise their children and after a break grapple to get back to their profession.

“Mums@Work is here to help. We not only connect candidates and clients but also guide, mentor and ensure that these women have the skills and confidence they need to get the jobs they want. We also want to make sure that they have the choices and right working hours to suit their families,” said Karim, a mother of two.

David Mackenzie, founder of Mums@Work said, “There is such a huge wealth of talent in the form of women who have had successful careers and have chosen to dedicate time to their families. Our experience in the market has shown us that often after the first few years, once children start nursery/school, mothers are looking for opportunities to revitalise their careers, but with hours to suit them. There are also an increasing number of employers looking for highly skilled employees who are flexible in their work patterns.”

For more details, go to www.mumsatwork.ae