Keys to retaining professional women - HR Future helps people prepare for the Future of Work and is South Africa's leading print, digital and online Human Resources magazine.

Keys to retaining professional women


97% of women said good work life balance, competitive salary and fulfilling work were important to job satisfaction and 91% also said that a collaborative and ethical workplace was important.
Original research from Robert Walters into the working habits and attitudes of professional women has revealed the most important factors employers must consider when looking to retain employees. A good work life balance, competitive salary and fulfilling work were top priorities when deciding whether to remain with their current employer for 97% of respondents.

The study, which surveyed over 500 professional women from a range of fields across 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.

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.

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.

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.

Petra Cooper is the Manager at Robert Walters.

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