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Ernst and Young Case - Retaining Women in the Workplace

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Ernst and Young Case - Retaining Women in the Workplace

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  • October 2006
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The initiatives implemented at Ernst & Young produced the results they did for a major reason. As discussed in Chapter two by Hakim, Pocock and Rapoport, the contemporary workplace needs to undergo changes to fall more into line with contemporary behaviours, attitudes and job expectations of employees and their families. This, in turn, should result in a more flexible workplace for women and a resulting higher retention rate of women, post-maternity leave. In short, contemporary women in the modern day work force need flexibility to juggle the continuingly blurred line of work and family life in order to retain their jobs and continue to actively participate in the workforce. Hakim (Nankervis, Compton & Baird : 2005) argued that modern-day women fall into three different categories, ‘Home and family centred', ‘Work and career centred' and the largest group known as the ‘Adaptive' who swing between both centres depending on their workplace policy arrangements. Hakim argued that there is no longer a ‘one size fits all' approach to workplace flexibility for women and that every individual needs a tailored program when trying to juggle career and family. (Nankervis, Compton & Baird : 2005). This is apparent in the Ernst & Young results as when the company introduced positive family-orientated changes such as the flexible working hours that the ‘woman principal' adopted, more women were returning to work as they could still care for their children when needed. Pocock suggests that Australia has come to a point where traditional employment institutions and values are remaining unchanged yet, the attitudes, expectations and behaviours of the workforce have changed significantly and these ideals are ‘colliding'. (Nankervis, Compton & Baird : 2005). She argues that all too often, employers are designing work for employees without the immediate responsibility of family and/or caring for family members. Pocock also argues that this will need to change in order to retain...

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