All-women firm with four-day week: ‘Friday off means we have weekends to ourselves’

Meath sisters say ‘flexible’ approach makes it easy to keep staff

Alex Duggan (from left), Laura Dignam, Brianna Morris, Sinead Deens, Nora Morris, Maggie Greene and Lesa Malone at the Brady Management Global office in Ballycoolin, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Hot-water bottles for period pain, free slippers, a four-day week and free hugs are just some of the perks on offer at an all-women Irish company.

Sisters Lesa Malone and Nora Morris lead a team of seven at their financial firm Brady Management Global Ltd and say they are inundated with requests from other women seeking to work in an office where messages of support are regularly left on colleagues desks.

“It was never meant to be an all-women firm but it just happened that way,” said Lesa, who founded the Co Meath-based company with her sister in 2016.

“Most of the staff were referred to us. Some are our daughters and daughters-in-law and others are friends or people they’ve worked with in the past. They just happen to be all women.”


She added: “We have had men here on work placement in the past so we are by no means anti-men.”

The company helps businesses with matters such as book-keeping and payroll and has clients in Ireland and the US, where it is seeking to expand. Due to Covid-19, staff were equipped to work from home but they all decided they wanted to return to the office.

“We have hot-water bottles to ease any period pain. We have slippers for all the girls to keep cosy in winter and as we are aware of staff who are going through the menopause, we have fans at the ready to quell the hot flushes,” Lesa said.

“The girls leave notes for each other all the time with messages of support. So if someone is at college one of the days, they’ll come back to find a note saying they hoped the classes went well and that they had a great day. That kind of thing.”


Having seen their mother Bridget die at a young age from cancer, and having had their own health challenges, the sisters encourage staff to have regular check-ups.

The company introduced a four-day working week in 2019 in order to ensure working mothers were not spending their weekends cleaning or food shopping.

“It was something Lesa and I discussed pre-Covid because as working mothers, we found we were spending Saturday and Sunday cleaning the house or doing the laundry or the food shopping,” said Nora.

“Having the Friday off means we can do all that and then have the weekends to ourselves. . . The girls are delighted. They do a few hours extra over the other four days and then have the longer weekend.”

On International Women’s Day, Lesa and Nora insist that women need more flexibility in the workplace, especially if they have children, and their approach has made staff retention easy.

“No one wants to leave,” said Nora. “Everyone tells us they are here to stay until they retire. And we are constantly asked by other women for a job.”