Category Archives: Case study

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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Dion Palin and Lendlease – Dads on Parental Leave Case Study

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First in a series of case studies celebrating Dads who have taken an extended parental leave we interviewed Dion Palin, Finance Manager at Lendlease for his unique perspective on being a stay at home dad and then working flexibly with the work-life balance demands of managing a successful career.

About Dion

Dion is a Brisbane-based working dad – married and father to two sons. At the birth of his first son 2 ½ years ago he took advantage of his employer’s parental leave scheme experiencing all the milestones and challenges of a parent and baby’s first year of life. Following the arrival of another son 4 months ago, Dion now tries to balance career and parental responsibilities by working 4 days per week. Every Tuesday he can now be found changing nappies, at swimming lesson, at the park with his toddler or honing his negotiating skills around afternoon-nap time.

Dion’s Parental Leave Story

When it came time for Dion and his wife to consider care options for their son, Nicolas, as she transitioned back to her busy practice as a self-employed GP, rather than go down the day care route, Dion took the opportunity to step in as the primary carer and take leave from his role at Lendlease.  The supportive Paid Parental Leave policy and the desire to keep their son at home for the first year made it a simple and straightforward choice for the couple – Dion would stay home and be the primary carer for 12 months after the birth of their son.

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Flexible working – what it takes to be successful (A case study)

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Productivity in the UK has come under the spotlight following news that the nation’s GDP per hour worked is lower now than it was pre-recession. In fact, the UK’s productivity is falling further behind that of its European neighbours.

To help tackle this trend, chancellor George Osborne published the report Fixing the Foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation, which sets the agenda for a national productivity drive.

Despite this, the real ‘game changer’ in the fight to recover the British economy will be the measures businesses themselves can take to enable their employees to be more productive.

Enabling employees to be more effective when they’re in and out of the office and offering them flexible working options are just some of steps that businesses have taken to help to increase productivity and growth over the last five to ten years. In addition, last year the government gave every employee the right to request flexible working from their employer. However, an overall uplift in UK productivity is yet to be realised and the adoption of flexible working is not widespread.

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