Softworks Blog

Move to Increase Women in Workforce

Posted by Triona Cahalane on Wed, Jun 5, 2013

A new government-backed report carried out by the Women’s Business Council in the UK has highlighted how Britain can create employment over the next five years for the 2.4million non-working women by embracing flexible working.

SoftworksThe study claims that if women were represented in the same numbers as men, GDP would be up 10% higher by 2030 which would dramatically boost the UK’s economic growth. Currently 67 per cent of working-age women are employed compared with 76 per cent of men.

"There is an overwhelming business case for maximising women's contribution to growth," the Women's Business Council says. It has identified key life stages including early education, parenthood and middle age when intervention could help to lift the number of working women.

To encourage flexible working, the report urges employers to offer employment contracts that reflect the job itself, rather than where and when it is done – avoiding terms such as “part-time” and “full-time”. The report also recommends that before women even enter the workplace, businesses and the government need to work with schools to broaden girls’ education choices and aspirations. 

It calculates that two-thirds of women over the age of 50 work in just three sectors: education, health or retail and recommends retraining to enable them to work in other areas."By creating opportunity for all, raising aspirations and enabling people to maximise their talents, we will deliver stronger economic growth," said Ruby McGregor-Smith, chair of the Women's Business Council and chief executive of outsourcing firm MITIE.

Click here for more information

Topics: Women In Business, Flexitime / Flexible Working Hours Arrangement, Flexible Working

In Conversation with Trish Madden

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Tue, Feb 19, 2013

Trish Madden, SMH

This month we chatted with Trish Madden, IT Trainer in St Michael's HouseTrish is currently doing a Masters in eLearning in Dublin City University and has chosen Softworks as her subject.  We were very interested to find out more.  Here’s what Trish had to say;


Softworks: Can you tell us more about your studies?

Trish: I am currently in the final stages of completing a MSc. Programme in Education and Training Management - eLearning Stream in Dublin City University.  Prior to this I successfully completed a Degree in Education and Training. The programme has been designed to meet the needs of practitioners from across the education sectors as well as from corporate training, industry, governmental departments, and other state agencies.

Softworks: What does the course entail?

Trish:  The programme teaches you how to apply the key educational philosophies, theories of learning, reflective practices and their relationship with developments in eLearning. You learn how to reflect systematically on your work practice, while implementing informed action to bring about improvement. Furthermore, you learn how to understand the design, development, implementation and evaluation of eLearning in a variety of educational contexts.

Softworks: Why made you choose Softworks for your thesis?

Trish: I have been the IT trainer in St Michael's House for over five years and we use Softworks for Time & Attendance, Rostering and Absence Management.  St. Michael's House provides community-based services for people with an intellectual disability in Ireland. We provide a range of services to more than 1,600 children and adults with an intellectual disability in over 170 centres. We have approx. 200 centre/house supervisors using Softworks to create team rosters, provide clock details for payroll and enter absences for HR. Because our managers work 24/7 they could be using Softworks at any time of the day or night. My objective was to set up an eLearning programme for these managers so that they could access eLearning resources at any time of the day or night.

Softworks: Are you enjoying the course?

Trish: I love it, it’s the best course I have ever done!

Softworks: When will you complete your Masters?

Trish: All going well, I’ll be done and dusted on the 25th June 2013 and can get my life back :)

From all at Softworks, we thank Trish for taking the time to talk with us this month and we wish her the best with her Masters. 


Topics: Time & Attendance, Women In Business, Softworks Customers, Interviews

From The Boxing Ring to the Boardroom…

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Wed, Aug 15, 2012

Softworks Irish staff was treated to a bird’s eye view of Katie Taylor's return to Ireland this week with her coveted Olympic gold medal. Softworks head office is based in the seaside town of Bray and Katie is a well-known local and extremely popular celebrity. There was huge excitement here during the Olympics and we were delighted to view her return from our office balcony, where she gave us our very own wave – Thanks Katie!

 Katie Taylor Waves to Softworks Staff resized 600

So what’s next for Katie? She is undoubtedly at the top of her boxing game and we also know that she is a very talented soccer player, but has she considered the board room? According to a new paper from Ernst & Young, Sport is leading the way in improving gender equality in business by challenging sexist stereotypes.

The white paper, High achievers: recognizing the power of women to spur business and economic growth, focuses on the foundation that women have established in sports; the impact they are now making in all segments of business and society; and the work that remains. It also examines the anticipated impact of women as the largest emerging market in the world, with women’s global incomes growing from US$13 trillion to US$18 trillion in the next five years – that incremental US$5 trillion is almost twice the growth in GDP expected from China and India combined.

Beth Brooke, Global Vice Chair of Public Policy at Ernst & Young, comments: “How can we harness the immense potential of women for the improvement of society and the economy? Supporting their participation in sports and education, leading initiatives that increase their presence in senior leadership and on corporate boards, and helping them to start and grow their companies, are a few ways to level the playing field.

“As we celebrate this year’s Games and athletes, and look toward the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, we must continue to foster the growth of one of the world’s most promising emerging markets: women.” You can get more information about this report here

Whatever you decide to do next Katie, we have no doubt you will have continued success and from all at Softworks we wish you well.

Good luck Katie Taylor resized 600

Topics: Women In Business, Motivation, Performance

It’s Official - Stocks Perform Better if Women are on Company Boards

Posted by Mairead Walsh on Wed, Aug 8, 2012

Women on boards

Companies with women on their boards perform better in challenging markets than those with all-male boards in a study suggesting that combining genders may moderate risky investment moves and increase return on equity. The number of women in boardrooms has grown since the end of 2005 as countries such as Norway instituted quotas and companies including Facebook Inc. added female directors after drawing criticism for a lack of gender diversity.

The latest research, from Credit Suisse, shows a greater correlation between stock performance and the presence of women on the board after the financial crisis started four years ago. The study analyses the performance of close to 2,400 companies with and without female board members from 2005 onwards.The key finding is that, in a like-for-like comparison, companies with at least one woman on the board would have outperformed stocks with no women on the board by 26 per cent over the course of the last 6 years. 

There is however, a clear split between relative performance over 2005 to 2007 and the post 2008 performance. In the middle of the decade when economic growth was relatively robust, there was little difference in share price performance between companies with or without women on the board. Almost all of the outperformance in the back-test has been delivered post 2008, since the macro environment deteriorated and volatility increased. In other words, stocks with greater gender diversity on their boards generally look defensive: they tend to perform best when markets are falling, deliver higher average ROEs through the cycle, exhibit less volatility in earnings and typically have lower gearing ratios.

Giles Keating, Head of Research for Private Banking, noted: “Unique in its scale and global reach this study contributes to the robust debate surrounding the importance of gender diversity and boards. Working with several experts on the topic including Professor Katherine Phillips, Columbia Business School, this study goes beyond the data to explore why gender diversity matters.“

Why Do Women on the Board Enhance Performance?

The report identifies seven key reasons why greater gender diversity could be correlated with stronger corporate performance:

(1) A signal of a Better Company
(2) Greater Effort across the Board
(3) A Better Mix of Leadership Skills
(4) Access to a Wider Talent Pool
(5) A Better Reflection of the Consumer Decision Maker
(6) Improved Corporate Governance

You can read more about this report here

Topics: Women In Business, Performance