Lucy White is Client Server's Learning & Development Manager and the founder of our Women's Networking Group. She writes about the big changes shaping the company's business strategy on International Women's Day 2022.
There’s nothing more important than people. There’s no successful business without amazing people. You need to invest a lot of time and effort into getting it right so you can attract and keep good people.
With today being International Women’s Day, it’s an ideal opportunity to talk about why Client Server is going big on its people, particularly its women.
Our Women's Networking Group
Not to beat about the bush, but we work in a very male-dominated environment. It’s one of those common markers of working in sales – it tends to attract more men than women. It’s something we’ve been very conscious of, and something that doesn’t have to stay that way. There’s no reason why recruitment can’t be as viable a career for women as it can be for men.
We got our heads together and started thinking about how we could both attract more women to work for Client Server and (perhaps more importantly) how do we keep them? Those problems require a lot of introspection and honesty, but you can begin solving them by doing some simple things differently.
One of the first things we did was to set up a Women’s Networking Group (WNG). We invited every woman who works for Client Server to join. And at the first meeting, every woman attended, which was fantastic and really set things up nicely. We really want the WNG to be involved in coming up with ideas for the business rather than it always being led by management. This way we can learn what motivates woman, what’s important to them, and be able to support their positions in the company.
An official aim of the group is to create a support network at Client Server that allows women in leadership positions in the company to mentor other consultants or teams, by sharing information, advice, and experiences. Rosie-May Parker – our most senior female salesperson – is going to talk about her progression within the company. I’m going to talk about balancing having a family and building a career and how Client Server have supported that.
Enhanced Maternity & Paternity
Probably the biggest shift for the company besides hybrid working has been our enhanced parental leave package. We want to encourage women to go on maternity, come back and continue their careers. There’s no reason why they can’t come back and grow and develop. I did it – twice. A large part of that involves letting people know they are valued in that way, and that’s why we implemented a parental leave pay scheme that rivals some of the bigger companies out there. Six months full pay for maternity leave is not something to turn your nose up at. In fact, it’s amazing. And it’s not just women-focused; our new package means new fathers can also have a decent period of time off and enjoy having a baby, and then return to work without the financial pressure. It’s an investment in parenthood which we think will pay off.
So on International Women’s Day, we don’t want to pretend there aren’t challenges and things we can do better. But I’m proud that we have things like the WNG and an enhanced parental leave package that set Client Server off on the right foot.