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Published: 14 Jul 2017

Dulas, Winner 2017, The Deloitte Best for all stages of Motherhood Award

  • 100 per cent retention rate for mothers five years after the birth of their first child
  • All requests for flexibility approved
  • Mothers make up two-thirds of the senior management team

Engineering firm Dulas is bucking the trend in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics) businesses, with its extremely successful retention strategies for new mothers – resulting in a 93 per cent retention rate over a ten year period. Enhanced maternity pay, flexible working and focus on career progression are key.

In an industry in which 26 per cent of the workforce is female, rural SME Dulas has worked hard to provide equal opportunities for mothers to progress and strengthen their careers. It now boasts a workforce that is 42 per cent female, most of whom are mothers – way above the national average for an engineering company.

Work to support mothers begins at recruitment, with the organisation actively targeting women through web and media advertising.

Dulas offers generous maternity provision: 18 weeks’ full pay and eight weeks’ half pay. There is no payback clause if an employee resigns during maternity leave.

All mothers are offered a return to work induction tailored to their specific interests. A communication plan is developed for periods of leave so they can choose the amount of information they wish to receive.

A key factor in enabling working mothers to succeed is flexible working – including time off in lieu and homeworking. Dulas has actively promoted flexible working options and has approved 100 per cent of related requests.

New mothers have clear role models for progression. The board has 33 per cent female representation and 66 per cent of the senior management team are women, all of whom are mothers. This reflects targeted intervention to ensure equality of opportunity.

For example, as part of succession plans to develop in-house skills, six women have successfully attained level five Institute of Leadership & Management accreditation and two others are working to level seven.

Strong parental support, equal opportunity for development and equal pay all help attract and retain mothers at the senior level of the business.

“During my first and second pregnancies I was really well supported. Being able to adapt my working hours to suit childcare requirements has made all the difference.”

Laura Hiscox
Senior Marketing Communications Coordinator