Pressing for progress: Making law a family friendly profession

Sally Macindoe

Traditionally, the law industry has been notorious for its unfamily-friendly workplace practices, which have particularly penalised mothers in need of flexibility  from reaching their full career potential. But times are changing, the ‘old’ model of practising law is being disrupted (and not just by technology).

The ‘exclusivity’ status quo is being challenged and a new ‘inclusive’ culture is being championed by some progressive firms determined to help shape a brave new world within their industry – a world where practising law and parenthood at the same time (and being supported to do so) is the new ‘norm’. This simple shift in culture, policy and attitude is helping elevate women into leadership roles and contributing to tackling gender inequality.

I recently interviewed Sally Macindoe, Partner and Global Head of Diversity for international firm Norton Rose Fulbright about her own personal experience and what the firm is doing to help their people manage career and caring responsibilities so they can thrive in all areas of life. Sally suggests there is an opportunity to “look at the innovative ways that structurally change the way we practice law that will create a more inclusive environment which provides options for people that need to work in different ways.”

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Inspiring Women in Law Who Did It Anyway – Belinda Harvey Interview

Belinda Harvey and Owen

LISTEN HERE

READ the transcript here

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2018 and the #PressforProgress theme we interviewed Belinda Harvey who is one woman doing it her way – in an industry that is renowned for making it exceptionally difficult for women to make it to leadership positions.

Belinda who is Partner at International Law Firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, generously shares her story about being a single mum with the support of an employer that is leading the way for working parents to manage career and family responsibilities.

Belinda talks to us about her journey from average high school marks and air hostess dreams to parenting as a single mother and becoming a lawyer – from the self-doubt,  the doubt of others and the challenges of being a woman in law.

“Finding it within you is your way forward. Finding that strength is going to take you where you want to go on life’s journey.” Belinda Harvey, Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

To listen to the full podcast tap here.

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Addressing the ‘motherhood penalty’: Make dads more than an ‘optional extra’ in parental leave policy to close the gender equality gap

Three hands of the same family.

The number of working parents – particularly working mothers – continues to rise and yet the number dads taking parental leave persistently isn’t budging – with only 2% of Australian dads taking parental leave.

“An investigation by the Diversity Council in 2014 found raising children accounted for ‘a 17% loss in lifetime wages for women’. . . When it comes to family dynamics, change has been fairly slow in Australia.” (Matt Wade, SMH)

Why is this the case despite clear evidence that a society – all aspects of it (work, community and home life) – greatly benefits from embracing gender equality, not just in word but in action? Why are Australian women continuing to lose out when it comes to their careers? Why are men continuing to lose out when it comes to spending time with their children? And why are employers not seeing the value in what facilitating greater ease – for both sexes – in managing work and family responsibilities?

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Job hunting tips

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Are you struggling with job hunting? Perhaps you’re returning to the workforce after parental leave, or simply searching for that dream job that suits you? Satisfying the skills and experience needed for the job, building that stand-out resume, and nailing your interview can feel like an impossible mountain hike. We provide 10 applicable tips on successful job hunting! Continue reading

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3 skills working parents and their managers must develop

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Working parents need 3 core skills to ‘thrive’ at work and at home: Adaptability, Flexibility and Resilience. 

We’ve all heard the expression “Got a job to do? Give it to a busy person (aka: mum).” But just how much can one busy ‘hands on’ mum or dad handle before the juggling balls begin to fall and bounce all over the place? How is your corporate culture contributing to the success or failure of your working parents’ ability to respond to the ever changing needs of their family and job?

Organisations who strive to help their people achieve their maximum potential ‘get it.’ It means providing employees with the necessary tools, support and training to be Adaptive, Flexible and Resilient to cope with the ups and downs of life being a ‘worker’ and a ‘parent’. Here’s some tips to help your organisation build resilience, adaptability and flexibility amongst your working parents: Continue reading

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Design your life in 6 simple steps? We interview the author that explains how

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Listen to the podcast here
Read the interview with Gill McLaren here

Recently our CEO, Emma Walsh, interviewed Gill McLaren, author of Think, Plan Live; a step- by- step workbook and coaching guide to defining and designing your best life.

 In today’s busy lifestyle, the core of life design is working out what you want, and “really blending your career and your personal life, so it’s optimal for you.”

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Balancing work and family: Tips for single fathers

Daniel Sherwin Single Father Photo

Single fathers today face a deeply rooted social bias that calls into question their ability to meet the demands of parenthood. It’s a prejudicial view that’s been around for decades. The New York Times reported 30 years ago on a study which found that single dads felt discriminated against because of an image which vilified them as negligent, even though those questioned indicated they were simply trying to provide for their kids. One respondent wrote that he’d been made to feel like a “freak.”

Persistent ideas about gender roles insist that men can’t be nurturing parents, or fulfill the vitally important role normally filled by a mother. It’s often said that dads just don’t have enough time to devote to their kids’ needs, or that they don’t know enough about parenting. Such preconceptions have been at work in the family court system for decades. Many judges still favor mothers in custody cases because they’re perceived to have a natural predilection for parenting. In fact, it is estimated that women are awarded custody at least 68 percent of the time. These ideas and beliefs are breaking down but they are still there nonetheless and that’s a problem as the divide it creates in our homes, workplaces and community is keeping both men and women at a disadvantage from living a fulfilling and balanced life. In particular, it’s holding women back in the workplace from advancing their career and men from embracing their innate caring nature which, when nurtured, can also speak volumes in our workplaces. Continue reading

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Returning to work after a career break? Introducing the Deloitte Returnship Program

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Listen to the podcast here
Feel like it’s time to re-start your career?

Last year, Deloitte Australia launched the highly successful Returnship Program – a back to work employment program designed for talented candidates who have taken an extended break or leave from their career.

Parents At Work proudly partnered with Deloitte to deliver the program and we’re pleased to say it’s back by popular demand with applications NOW OPEN until February 4th for the 2018 intake.

The first of its kind in Australia, Deloitte’s program offers an extensive learning and career development experience designed to support employees re-engage in the workforce.

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Leading Career Development All the Way– Inside Deloitte’s Return to Work Program

Deloitte Learn How to Create A RTW Program

Listen to the podcast here

Last year Deloitte Australia launched the highly successful Returnship Program – a back to work employment program designed for candidates who have taken an extended break or leave from their career.  The program is back by popular demand with applications open until February for the 2018 intake.

A first of its kind in Australia, Deloitte’s program offers a learning and career development experience designed to support employees re-engage in the workforce.  The reason this programme is leading the way in the HR world is that it equips participants with the skills, confidence and support crew required to successfully hit the ground running as they reignite their career.

Parents At Work has partnered with Deloitte to design and deliver the individual coaching as part of the Returnship Program.

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2018 – The Year of Sharing the Caring?

 

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As I close out for another year, in fact my 10th year running Parents At Work, my wish for 2018 is the same as it’s been for the last decade: I hope next year will be easier – the juggle I mean – for families everywhere. That is my New Year’s Resolution.

How can I, my husband, my friends, our community, our workplaces and our Government alleviate the everyday mounting pressure that confronts us as we raise our families whilst managing busy workloads? How do we make it so we’re not simply just surviving?

Make no mistake, our economy is relying on ‘the juggle’ to get better – it wants active participation of more mums and dads sharing the earning load so our nation can continue to grow. As with every year, this means we, as a society, need to rise to meet the challenges of what holds back working mums, dads and all those caring for others from fully participating? I’m not alone. We all need to find improved ways to share the caring load – for all our sakes.

A change for the better is in the air in Australian workplaces. As such Government policy needs to follow suit and carve out a vision to improve the way parents share parental leave, access flexible work and, balance work and family life.

This means championing gender equality around sharing the caring by normalising men taking parental leave and working flexibly.

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