Donald Murray states firmly that “working mothers are among the most effective workers.”
And when Murray talks, people listen. He’s the highly successful chairman and chief executive officer of Resources Global Professionals Inc., a professional services firm based in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Murray founded the firm in 1996 and took it public in 2000. Annual revenues are approaching $500 million and today the company has 65 offices worldwide and some 3,000 employees. Fifty percent of its associates who work with clients are women.
What’s more, four out of five of the company’s regional directors are women with children.
“Working mothers are our competitive edge,” said Murray, who has a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration and accounting and a master’s degree in business taxation.
“Working mothers, in my opinion, provide much higher results with flexible hours than average guys do who could be there 60 hours a week.”
The CEO says he has observed “that no one can juggle things or multitask like a professional woman with children. But many employers don’t acknowledge that.”
It was in 1976, when Murray was hired by a large accounting firm, that he saw the potential — and problems — faced by working mothers.
“Half of the people hired at the same time as I was were women,” he said. “But by the time I became partner, none of the women were still there. You know when that happens that something needs to be fixed.”
In the early 1990s, when he became manager of 200 people at the firm, Murray observed that there were real barriers erected to the success and advancement of employed mothers.
“I saw that the company focus was on how many hours the women worked, on their input — and not on what they actually accomplished,” he said. And that is why, in his company, Murray added, “we don’t monitor hours, we monitor results.”
The CEO further shows his support for women in his role as a volunteer for Human Options, an organization that assists women who are victims of domestic violence. Since 1997, Murray has offered an internship program to provide training to women recommended by the agency.
It’s Murray’s belief that working mothers need flexibility to realize their potential: With it, nothing can stop them.
“Our company speaks for itself,” said Murray, who says he looks for quality when hiring — and often finds it among working mothers.