According to a a recent report from The McKinsey Global Institute, helping women achieve equal opportunities in the workplace could add $150 billion to Canada's GDP by 2026. The report goes on to say that by adding 50 minutes a week to a woman's working hours, it could help Canada's GDP grow by 16 per cent. This is significant and goes to show that further supporting women in the workplace is an impactful way to grow the country's economy.
The problem is that women have typically had to make the "choice" between opting "in" or "out" of the workforce due to family responsibilities and, traditionally, workplaces have not done the best job accommodating.
"I know so many talented women who took a break from the corporate world to be at home with their kids full-time. Now that their kids are older, they are looking for ways to re-enter the workforce but don't know where to start," says Naomi Titleman Colla, founder of Collaborativity Leadership Advisor.
Enter the gig economy.
The gig, or agile, economy provides flexibility to meet different priorities and help eliminate the negative perceptions of opting in and out of the workforce, which is more common with women.
The gig economy is on the rise and it is estimated that over 40 per cent of the workforce will be contract/freelance based by 2020 Until recently, freelance work was viewed as a means to an end and not a sustainable career path. However, as more skilled workers choose this option, highly desirable employers are following.
It's a "win-win" on either side of the market. The gig economy provides both employees and employers with flexibility to meet different priorities and helps eliminate the negative perceptions of opting in or out of the workforce. For female executives, the gig economy is a means to balancing family duties and a fulfilling professional career. Companies are also exposed to a larger, more diverse talent pool, including more women in leadership roles. There are major cost benefits to hiring a nimble, efficient and highly-skilled workforce on a contract basis.
That's why we created Kahuso, an online platform that connects accomplished executives with companies for part-time, interim work and advisory/board positions.
"New talent platforms like Kahuso mean not only more visibility into the job market but also into gigs that are perfectly suited to trying something new," Titleman Colla also explained.
As the gig economy continues to grow and expand, it presents an opportunity to completely re-examine the way we work. If companies want to remain competitive, they need to adapt to a changing workforce and, if we want to tap into this highly skilled resource, let's create more opportunities for women to move away from having to compromise and support them in making a real impact.