This is an awesome article in the Globe and Mail called ‘Flex Time, That’s So 2005’ that talks about ways in which certain companies are working harder to keep female employees happy and ultimately to retain them. The companies that it mentions are UPS Canada, Merck Frost, and Rogers. They’ve done this through leadership development courses for women, through women’s networks within and outside their companies and through encouraging equitable hiring and pay practices. But they’ve also tried to be understanding to mothers through increased maternity pay and family friendly policies. For example:

Visitors to Merck Frost’s office may, from time to time, see a child or two spinning in a chair or doodling on a parent’s desk. That’s because employees know that, should their babysitter pull a no-show, it’s all right for them to take their children to work.

“We welcome children in the building,” says Ms. Graham. “Our belief is that if we support our employees not just at work but also with their family lives, then they’re going to be happier and more productive, and they’re going to stay.”

I think this is a great trend that I hope will catch on with other companies! But I also think that ‘Family friendly’ policies don’t just benefit women, that their implementation is a great and necessary step ahead for fathers as well.

Frightening Workplace Stats from the article (i.e. why we obviously still have a long way to go):

Percentage of top earners in Canada who were women in 2006

Portion of positions held by women in what’s considered the “executive pipeline” in 2006