Politics: Mothers rebranded as project managers

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The Independent Online
THE GOVERNMENT is drawing up plans to boost women's chances of getting back into work after they have taken time off to have children.

Ministers want to promote the abilities many women acquire in their role as mothers, such as balancing household accounts, organising and prioritising time and conflict management. The idea of a "Mum's CV" was developed after senior industry leaders urged them to "re-badge motherhood as project management". Clara Freeman, Marks & Spencer's director of employment and recruitment, said one of the main problems with women's role in the economy was that many were well-educated but ended up being under- employed because they lacked confidence.

Baroness Jay of Paddington, the minister for Women, said: "Women perform many roles as mothers that many employers would find invaluable. A Mum's CV would emphasise the qualities that mothers have developed whilst at home. Things like the ability to budget, balance household accounts, organise, prioritise and juggle a number of tasks at the same time."

The "Mum's CV" would be introduced as a template that mothers could then use when writing up their own CV. A government source said: "Our aim is to get the private sector and industry to sign up to the idea of a `Mum's CV' and we are hopeful that they will, because it was business who came up with the idea in the first place.

"This may sound like a gimmick but it is not. A big part of this idea is promotion because we want to build confidence and help women overcome the fear that they have turned into a `cabbage' while taking out a year or two to look after their young children."

Ministers are also drawing up a template for job-sharing and flexible employment hours to help working mothers. Ministers believe employers such as the NHS could learn from the private sector in their attitudes to job-sharing.