This creative Melbourne agency set a new benchmark for employing mothers with just one heartfelt letter, writes Karen Miles, as told by Jane Woolard.
Like many women, copywriter Jane Woolard put her working career on hold when her first child was born. That was almost 12 years ago.
When Jane decided it was time to return to an office job (after some years of paid freelancing and working from home, plus baby number two), she faced a familiar refrain: ‘Oh, you’ve been out of the workforce for ages’, ‘We can’t afford anyone taking time off for their kids’ and the classic, ‘What will happen in the school holidays?’
She had the answers to all of their ‘problems’ and thought her skills and extensive industry experience made her a competitive asset for the roles she applied for, but she constantly received the feedback, ‘You’re not the right fit for our organisation.’
You’ll love what happened next. When Jane applied for another job, the company director Emelye asked Jane about her kids, their ages and their interests. To her surprise, she also offered Jane the role, with hours tailored to suit their family commitments.
Then she sent this letter to Jane’s kids…
Emelye has set the benchmark for how mothers should be welcomed back. While the letter is beautiful, it highlights what’s missing from the job search for return-to-work mothers: empathy. An understanding that some women will feel nervous, uncertain and lacking in confidence about returning to work, and that their talent is worth retaining.
While not all women want to return to paid work after having children, for Jane, it’s a dream come true, and a win/win for employee/employer.
We were so inspired by this act of awesomeness that we turned the letter into a template to be shared far and wide – so please download your copy of Emelye’s letter and help us share this beautiful sentiment. #HireMum #EmployerOfTheYear #GirlsGotTalent