Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day! As a company founded by two women from two different generations, we are certainly celebrating along with women all over the world today.

The holiday, first celebrated around the globe in 1911, brings the vital role women play in enhancing economic security for their families, communities and countries as a whole to the forefront while recognising that significant barriers to achieving women’s economic security and equality continue to exist. When financial security is brought up in terms of gender issues, Fiona and my ears always prick up because it’s precisely why we started HireMeUp.

When the brain child of a part-time job site that made finding work that fits around your life first developed, Fiona was a working mum looking for work to fit around her son, and I was embarking on a new career as a self-employed consultant looking to find work to help keep me afloat while I sought more clients.

On TEN Breakfast this morning, Sex Discimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick brought up the issue of women having half the retirement savings of men and who are left in poverty in their old age because they’ve chosen to care rather than work. Today 45% of working Australians are women, compared with just 30% fifty years ago. And women represent 75% of all part-time employees.  Choice is the name of the game.

It’s having the choice to enter the workforce or not.  To work full time or part time.  To do the “hokey-pokey” — jumping in with both feet when you’re a single or newly married woman, then jumping back out while you’re raising your children, putting one foot back in when they’re school age and then jumping with both feet back in when the kids are grown (and “that’s what it’s all about!” — choices and options).

Now there are a lot of events that can affect your choices but having options that allow for flexibility like part-time work, flexible hours, contract jobs, and so on make life a lot easier because we just simply don’t all fit into the traditional 9-to-5 mould as we always like to say. Rarely a day or week goes by when we don’t hear a story (from both men and women, young and old) about how people just want to find a job that fits into their life. And having access to work allows for financial freedom and security — something near and dear to both Fiona and my hearts.

We like to think we’re playing our own part in breaking down significant barriers to achieving women’s economic security and, therefore, equality, by bringing part time to light as a reputable and viable work choice — and not just for job seekers but for employers as well.

There is an iceberg of flexible jobs out there that are just under the surface — inaccessible to the masses because employers aren’t willing to advertise them for the exorbitant amount mainstream job boards and newspapers charge, or they simply don’t have the time to advertise. We want to hunt down those jobs and bring them to one, central job board where you can easily find work to suit the days, times and hours you’re available. By making it easier to find work that works for you, we hope more women will find the financial freedom to stand on their own two feet if they need (or want) to. As Elizabeth Broderick said this morning, she tells her daughter every morning, “A man is not a financial plan.

Million-Dollar-Woman-Insurance-For-WomenWe agree strongly that women need their own economic independence because it provides security.  And that, of course, doesn’t mean all women need to work, there is a lot in the way of valuing domestic work. There is a fantastic new Australian insurance provider called Million Dollar Woman dedicated to the unique and specific financial needs of woman. Their brilliant Day-to-Day cover is specifically designed for home makers and stay-at-home parents who are responsible for running the household. If you get sick or injured, it gives you a weekly payment so you’re able to hire a cleaner, pay for babysitting, or get your groceries delivered. All the things you normally look after. How great is that?? We applaud you ladies at Milli who are at the forefront of recognising the specific needs of women.

With more businesses and networks emerging focused on helping women, it can only keep getting better!

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Author: Alli Baker, Director and Co-Founder of HireMeUp

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