European Micro Businesses Discuss A Family Friendly Approach

get-attachmentMany of may recall that we at Open Mind proudly joined with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Malta Institute of Management (MIM) and Women in Management (WIM)  to host the Mothers in Management Conference in Brussels last month, the title of which was Family Friendly Enterprises.

It was a very lively discussion with contributions from a wealth of high profile and knowledgeable speakers including:

  • Dr Ann Fenech, Managing Partner at Fenech & Fenech Associates.

Ann share from her own experience of working in a predominately male environment and raising her children.  Ann shared that she did not see being a women as an issue and just confidence in herself.  Ann believes that being a woman is only and issue if you make it one.  Although a large percentage of the employees working in her business are women, this is only because they are the best people for the job, not because they are women.

Her business has worked hard to support their employees to have a balance work and home life by offering childcare at the work place, which has helped to allow parents to be less concerned about their children whilst they are at work and confidently and effectively carry out their jobs.

Other members of the discussion panel were

  • Antoinette Caruana, Head of HR at Farsons Group.
  • Michelle Bonnici, Chief HR Office at GO plc.
  • Mette Kindberg, EESC member and Vice President of the Women’s Council in Denmark.

Mette discussed the issue to increasing the length to maternity leave for mothers.  This brought up a range of different view on this subject and made for a lively discussion.

The UK was represented by

  • Sandra Pollock, Director of Open Mind, and National Chair Women in Management (WIM).

Sandra spoke to the conference on the principles of what a Family Friendly Enterprise is, the benefits both the employer and the employee of becoming one for small/micro businesses.  Benefits have been proven to extend far beyond these into the wider community, the business world and provide a positive economic impact on the nation as a whole with more people working and more money circulating around the economy.

  • Ron Simpson, Director and Company Secretary, Uppingham First.  Ron has experience spanning many years, from which he was able to share reflectively, see how things have improve for both male and female employees and more personally from the decisions made by his own children in relation to their family and careers.
  • Aimee Holland, Director, Grow My Profit.  Aimee was able to share first hand on how her situation was dealt with by her then employer and how this has forge a response which has seen her start her own business and deal with her employees in a much more supportive way.  This has resulted in far more loyalty, support and creativity with in her business with profitable outcomes.

We were not able to record all of the conference, but some parts were caught on camera and can been seen via the links listed below.

  • Recommendations for a Family Friendly Enterprise – Ron Simpson and Aimee Holland

  • Panel Discussion

  • Pioneer to Leader – Part 1,  by Sandra Pollock

  • Pioneer to Leader – Part 2,  by Sandra Pollock 

  • Pioneer to Leader – Part 3, by Sandra Pollock and includes delegate participation




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