IBM has dramatically increased the retention of female employees by offering
a 25 per cent pay rise for those that return to work after maternity leave.
Over 30 per cent of IBM’s 20,000 staff are women which compares to 18 per
cent for the IT sector as a whole.
The scheme, which costs around £2m a year, gives female staff the salary
increase for the first two years after their return.
Paul Rodgers, HR director of IBM UK, said, "It is a retention tool to
retain key female staff. There is a shortage of women in the IT sector so when
good female staff do come along we want to give them as much flexibility as
possible so they stay with us."
Rodgers said that nine out of ten employees that have been on maternity
leave have come back and been retained by the company.
IBM also allows first-time mothers returning from maternity leave to work
part-time for five years on the guarantee that they will return to full-time
work when the five year period is completed. The time frame is extended to
seven years for staff with two children.
"Children start primary school after five years and kids normally come
in two-year cycles. We believe that this move is quite unique. I have six
members of my HR team who have returned to work this year under this system in
a part-time role," said Rodgers.