The Hidden Workforce
Smart Women Who’ve had Babies

by James on November 14, 2008

I have worked with a large number of very smart women. I’ve reported to them, had them report to me, had them as clients, and worked with them as vendor partners. I’ve experienced them as competitors.

Sometimes these smart women make the choice to stay home with children. And sometimes it’s a smart man who makes the choice. This can be for a short period, two to three years, or it can be a permanent choice. While I respect the choice they’ve made there is an opportunity here for businesses if they are willing to grasp it.

Business can harness the power of this hidden workforce. They aren’t any less smart because they’ve had a baby and decided to stay home; they aren’t any less experienced, less educated, less trained. Technology exists that allows them to be virtual part time employees.

Jet Blue and other progressive companies have used Homeshoring to staff their virtual customer service networks for a number of years. Think about it. There are lots of jobs these smart women can do, and will happily do, if given the chance and the flexibility to manage their other, very important responsibility.

Hip Shots

  • Leverage the power of smart women who’ve had babies. Bring this hidden work force to bear on your business for competitive advantage. They will work hard and work smart.
  • Invest in technology that allows them to work from home. It’s not a big deal any more. 37 Signals is a resource you can consider that requires minimal investment / setup time. Or, have a consultant build a platform for you. Mann Consulting, in San Francisco, can do this.
  • Consider past employees / clients / vendor partners / competitors’ employees who have made the choice to stay home. Find jobs they can do that will help your business be more productive, help you deliver your product or service more efficiently. Find a way to make it happen.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Harold Mann November 14, 2008 at 8:55 pm

Thanks for the mention, James. In this economy, words like “invest” “build” and “consultant” are all dirty words to some, but you’re right: leveraging that kind of talent is very strategic and it’s remarkable how much people get done from home despite everyone’s assumptions that there are distractions, etc.

For many women I know, work-at-home provides an oasis for them away from the noise and chaos of parenting. Plus it works a part of the brain that doesn’t get as much stretching during Dora The Explorer reruns.

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