A BOLTON-based business has made International Women’s Day history, after seeing a 156pc increase in female starters.

It follows on from the introduction of its ‘flexible flexible’ working policy last year.

Business utilities retailer and comparison service Love Energy Savings’ new policy allows staff to work wherever they want, whenever they want.

Women around the world have historically taken on a larger proportion of domestic labour and child care, as well as experiencing potential maternity discrimination.

This has often had a knock on effect on their career, particularly child-care which often results in women dropping down into part-time roles and missing out on progression opportunities.

Nicola Channon – a 35-year-old mother of one – has been with the company for four years, but received a promotion to collections manager last October.

Nicola is a huge advocate for the flexible working policy and has has a unique insight into its impact on women within the company, as she runs an entirely female team of four.

She said: “Since the start of the policy I’ve seen our department and the business go from strength to strength.

“Three out of the five people in our team have children, so it’s been a game changer, as we can work around the school run and after we’ve put them to bed if we need.

“That’s definitely helped me progress my career.

“From what I’ve seen as well, if you give your staff that flexibility, they’ll actually work harder and bring in more revenue for the company.

“It’s also increased that all important bond with my daughter.

“She’s nine, but before ‘flexible flexible’, I had never picked her up from the school gates.

“I really can’t praise the flexible working policy highly enough, because I just wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had without it.”

Promotion records after the policy was implemented, revealed that 80pc of all senior promotions have gone to women.

While the introduction of this new way of working was initially introduced as a temporary response to the pandemic, it has evolved into so much more than that.