Category Archives: Research

Gender Equality in the Workplace: The Role of Paid Parental Leave

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recent article by senior Sydney Morning Herald writer and new mum, Jessica Irvine, sparked our interest.

In her piece, Jessica proposed that we cannot have true gender equality until we have true shared responsibility for raising children. She challenged the labels of ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carer enshrined in the current Paid Parental Leave (PPL) legislation as one of the roots of the problem.  Perhaps more concerning is, that as a society, we don’t realise the unintended negative consequences to gender equality when we use the terms ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ care giver.

“In fact, our entire paid parental scheme is predicated on the idea that there should exist a ‘primary’ and therefore a ‘secondary’ care giver. Mums and dads are forced to decide in the first few weeks which will be which. The idea that duties should be shared equally from the start doesn’t even compute in the current system.”

Jessica Irvine, SMH

Over the years we’ve seen countless times the effect of being assigned ‘primary’ carer has on women, unfortunately, often to their career peril. Many feel they must accept this assumed ‘lead position’ or ‘centre controller’ because it will ensure their family stays just that – a family.

Granted, some women want to stay at home for as long or longer than their PPL permits but what of the women who want to return to work and really share the caring role with their spouse?  Many feel the pressure to stay at home – pressure that comes, in part, from a system designed to commit them to the role as the ‘primary’ carer – which can be permanently, for those who find breaking back in impossible down the track.

Current legislation allows the ‘primary carer’ to transfer their PPL entitlement to their partner if they meet the eligibility criteria. This still implies either one spouse/partner must be the primary carer. What’s more the ‘Dad and Partner Pay’ of 2 weeks paid leave to care for a child overtly implies that mum will be the ‘primary carer’ to take PPL – Dad, well, he’ll just take a couple of weeks off and be back at work! What stereotypes does this reinforce about men and women’s role raising children and the proportion of time men vs. women ‘should’ have off whilst raising a family. And what if you are in a gay relationship – two fathers or two mothers? It forces the couple to choose – one is more of a ‘real’ parent than the other.

To be eligible for Parental Leave Pay, you need to be the primary carer of a newborn or recently adopted child. The primary carer is the person who most meets the child’s physical needs. This is usually the birth mother of a newborn or the initial primary carer of an adopted child. You are considered to be the primary carer from birth, even if your child is in hospital.

Eligibility for Paid Parental Leave Pay, Centrelink

Ask any parent – raising a child is a blessing and a challenge. But consider that imposing one parent with the weighty label of ‘primary’ carer carries with it an assumed unequalness that can be (and more often than not is) interpreted as one parent having more responsibility (i.e. more tasks, more decision making authority, more sacrifice) and implies that the other ‘secondary’ carer is somehow less important or has a lesser role to play. Every able parent is equally responsible for the upbringing and well being of their child. Period.

What if PPL redefined all parents as ‘carers’ of their child rather than as ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ carer and what if they were equally encouraged to access paid parental leave within the first 12 months? How would that change the state of play in the culture of workplaces? How would it change the minds of men and women in a society that still pays women less for the same work and struggles to find female leaders?

Would parents feel more empowered to step up and be the mum or dad they want to be? Would women feel more empowered to make life and career choices that were important to them instead of feeling forced to make sacrifices (for stopping paid work) or carrying the guilt (for choosing to work)? We know from various studies that gender equality at work leads to a multitude of societal, economic and personal benefits. A report released last month by the McKinsey Global Institute highlights this fact blatantly: “If every country saw women reach parity with men on workforce participation, global GDP would increase $28 trillion”.  And this: “More than half (54%) of the potential increase in GDP can come from increasing women’s workforce participation.”

There is a very plain bias here and one we’d like to see change before the next round of PPL legislation is enacted, for the sake of all Australians – this generation and those to come.  The inequalities at work (we still have a 18% gender pay gap in Australia) and home (women do 2.5 times more unpaid work than men) highlight why we need to address inequality at all levels of society. We need to discourage gender-based assumptions in every nook and cranny we can – from the laws we make to the colour of socks we feel we ‘ought’ to buy our new born. As my 4 year old said this morning: “some kids think blue is for boys and pink is for girls but I like blue and all colours are for everyone”.

In summary, and put simply, we propose the Government remove all gender references from the new Paid Parental Leave legislation. ‘Either parent/carer’ will suffice. Change starts with the individual, but when we have laws that reflect true equality (both parents, without bias, playing an equally active and important role as both carer and worker), we start to inspire and encourage every parent, working or not, to play a role in raising the next generation – equally. After all, it takes village to raise a child doesn’t it?

By: Emma Walsh

First published by Women’s Agenda

 

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Part-time work, part-time care: The radical yet strangely sensible proposal for our future

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A LOT of people think Jennifer Nedelsky’s plan for the future of work is crazy, but when most hear her radical manifesto, their reaction is: “Where do I sign?”.

The Canadian professor, a fellow for the Institute for Social Justice, has this theory that everyone, and she means everyone, should work part time.

Have we got your Mondayitis affected attention yet?

If Professor Nedelsky’s ideas were to be implemented, when the full-timers among you arrived at work today it would have been the beginning of a minimum 12, maximum 30-hour week. And if you’re one of the increasing number of graduates looking to gain employment or struggling to find that next opportunity, it wouldn’t be a problem.

The catch in this utopian labour model is that everyone would also be required to participate in part-time, unpaid care work for the same number of hours, 12 — 30.

Of the 11.8 million strong labour force in Australia, around 3.6 million of us work part time according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data. Continue reading

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Women in Leadership

Why the gap between policy & practice in flexible work is costing women their careers

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The last five years have seen an increase in comprehensive policiesproviding access to flexible work, but these policies are not being effectively employed in practice, according to new research. 

The University of Sydney Business School’s Women and Work Research Group has conducted a study involving in-depth interviews with employees and line managers about the implementation of the company’s flexible work policies – and the results were disappointing.

The study’s co-author Dr Rae Cooper told Women’s Agenda that the growth in strong flexible work policies, both at a company and a national level, in recent years is encouraging, but that it appears there is a disconnect between the way the policies are written and the way they are implemented

“We’ve seen more significant developments in policies surrounding access to flexible work in the last five years than we’ve ever seen before in Australia’s history. Governments and organisations have put a lot of effort into designing good policies for keeping women attached to the labour force after having children,” Dr Cooper said.

“But our study shows a dissonance between the policies’ intentions and their outcomes. We found that these policies are not being effectively borne out in practice and employees are not receiving the benefits they are entitled to.”

So if the policy framework has been developed and is theoretically effective, what is going wrong?

Dr Cooper says the disconnect between the policy and the practice is a result of a lack of awareness among both employees and managers about the how the policy it meant to operate.

“This means that managers are not offering employees the full benefits they are entitled to by the policy because the managers themselves do not have adequate information and training.”

“We spoke to employees in organisations with very strong flexible work policies who approached managers and were told, ‘we don’t do flexible work here’, when of course this was not the case.”

Dr Cooper said the effort put into developing sound policies is wasted if they are not properly understood by those operationalising them. This lack of understanding at manager level means that employees are missing out on flexible working arrangements that both national and organisational policies entitle them to.

“It is so important that companies have strong policies on flexible work, but they will not reap the benefits they are intended to if line managers are acting as gate keepers to those policies.”

Dr Cooper said employees’ lack of awareness of their own entitlements is also creating a barrier to access.

“We were very surprised at how low the levels of understanding of flexibility policies was among employees. We found that employees had a general understanding that they were entitled to ask for part time work, but they did not have an understanding of how these arrangements actually work in terms of things like pay, bonuses, workload and job design,” she said.

Dr Cooper said this has lead to employees asking for reduced hours, but failing to negotiate the broader implications of the change. She said employees need to be asking questions about what their new expected productivity and output would be, who would complete the extra work and how their new role would be designed.

“Failing to negotiate these implications often means that women ask for reduced hours, but feel under pressure to produce the same amount of work, so they just end up doing full time work and only receiving part time pay.”

This dissonance between policy and practice means women are often still sacrificing career progression for flexibility and according to Dr Cooper, this needs to change.

“We need to get rid of the idea that in order to work flexibly you have to sacrifice career success,” she said.

“Today in Australia we have the most highly educated female labour force in the world, and we owe it to those women, our society and our economy to not waste that talent.”

By: Lucia Osborne-Crowley

Source: Women’s Agenda

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What do Aussie workers want the most? You guessed it… work-life balance.

business woman showing balancing concept

Australian employers must adopt a “multi-pronged strategy” to connect with the cream of the talent crop, says Hudson’s executive general manager Dean Davidson.

According to Hudson’s latest employment survey, work life balance is the top priority for this year’s jobseekers, beating salary and career progression to the number one spot.

The Hiring Report: The State of Hiring in Australia 2015 surveyed more than 3000 professionals and hiring managers across Australia. Its findings revealed that 70% of Australian workers viewed work life balance as the most important thing when considering a new position, signalling the growing pressure on employers to seriously consider the arrangements they offer their staff.

Hudson’s executive general manager Dean Davidson said that Australian work culture has seen a shift, resulting in work life balance no longer being “just a buzz term or the domain of the working mum”.

“Work life balance is now fundamental to all Australian professionals and will be firmly on the agenda as we move throughout 2015,” he said. “The fact that cultural fit – that feeling of belonging – is so far up the value chain, and is actually the most important factor for senior executives, demonstrates that fitting in and feeling valued are also important priorities for Australian job seekers in 2015.

Respondents named higher salary as their second priority, while cultural fit closely followed as the third most important factor.

Davidson added that the evolution of digital technology and networks have created a highly complex job market.

“Our report shows three in four employees are open to being approached about a new job opportunity, while eight in 10 have an up-to-date CV and six in 10 have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile,” he said.

However, while employees are becoming increasingly open to being approached about new opportunities, finding and attracting talent is becoming more complex due to the modern requirement of both a competitive job offer and a multifaceted sourcing strategy.

Researchers found that hiring managers are acknowledging a scarcity of talent, with 90% saying that they need to look beyond active job seekers to find the right candidate.

The research showed that online job boards remain the single most important platform for sourcing new talent, named as hiring managers’ most effective sourcing channel. In spite of this, a third said that online job boards are now less effective than they were two years ago. Australian employers are increasingly adopting a “multi-pronged strategy” to secure talent, utilising recruitment specialists, personal networks, internal referral schemes and headhunting.

“This report confirms what we are seeing, in that while digital may have altered the job market forever, best practice hiring is far from a digital-only approach,” said Davidson. “Social media channels are growing rapidly however their effectiveness as a sourcing channel is still to be proven. External solutions and people networks remain imperative to the process of tapping into high quality candidates.”

Researchers also found that almost half of hiring managers use social media to evaluate candidates – although 82% of professionals said they are comfortable with their “online footprint”.

The top nine: What Australian jobseekers are looking for in 2015

1. Work life balance – 70%
2. Higher salary – 67%
3. Cultural fit within organisation and/or team – 64%
4. Career progression/training opportunities – 58%
5. Better benefits – 46%
6. A company whose values are closer to mine – 36%
7. Strong manager – 30%
8. Better brand – 14%
9. Better job title – 13%

Source: HC Online

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Stand up Australia. Our working mums and dads deserve better – 1 in 2 mothers and 1 in 4 fathers experience discrimination in the workplace

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An astounding and worrying statistic emerged last week from the National Survey conducted as part of the Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review. 1 in 2 mothers and 1 in 4 fathers experience discrimination in the workplace.

Equally astonishing is the perceived lack of outrage expressed in the media – in fact, there’s been barely any follow up after the initial headlines aired in the mainstream news. Why is this?

If we follow recent history of discrimination faced by footballers on the field or other media personalities, the news coverage for the story can last for days until the perpetrator is named and shamed. Shaming here isn’t the point (awareness and change are) but it does highlight how inconsistent our values and standards can be. Ordinary mums and dads face discrimination every day – at a stage in their lives when many are vulnerable both emotionally and financially. These parents are expected to juggle it all and suffer in silence as they raise our next economy-boosting generation and future leaders (who will, let’s not forget, be tackling our looming aged care crisis).

This issue is far too important to be dropped – the silence must be lifted which is why it’s imperative we make the statistics count while they are fresh.

So, to reiterate – 50% of today’s mothers are experiencing workplace discrimination. These aren’t mothers from two generations ago, when awareness was low and laws were non-existent. This is happening right now. For fathers the figure sits at 27% (also astounding considering the majority take less than 4 weeks for parental leave).

The survey

The Review included an Australia-wide national consultation process and two national surveys. One survey looks at women’s perceived experiences of discrimination in the workplace as a result of their pregnancy, request for or taking of parental leave, and their return to work following parental leave. The second survey looked at experiences of fathers and partners that have taken time off work to care for their child under the ‘Dad and Partner Pay’ scheme.

Findings

The most commonly reported discrimination for mothers occurred during:

  • Return to work (35%)
  • Requesting or on parental leave (32%)
  • During pregnancy (27%)

For fathers:

  • During parental leave (20%)
  • Return to work (17%)

The Review found the following forms of discrimination most prevalent:

  • Negative attitudes and comments about breastfeeding or working part-time or flexibly
  • Being denied requests to work flexibly
  • Threatened with or experienced dismissal or redundancy
  • Reductions in salary
  • Missing out on training and professional development
  • Missed promotional opportunities
  • Health and safety related discrimination

The impact on parents

The Review found that 84% of mothers experienced a significant negative impact on one or more of the following:

  • Mental health (increased stress, reduced confidence and self-esteem)
  • Physical health
  • Career and job opportunities
  • Financial stability
  • Families

Specifically 42% of women reported that the discrimination had a financial impact on them and 41% felt it impacted on their career and job opportunities. Many women either left the workforce altogether or changed employer due to the discrimination.

For fathers 61% reported a negative impact on their mental health, 42% reported that it had a negative impact on their families and 37% said that this had a negative financial impact.

The impact on organisations

Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick comments: “The major conclusion we can draw from this data, is that discrimination has a cost – to women, their families, to business and to the Australian economy and society as a whole.”

The sad fact is the majority of women who experience discrimination do not make a formal complaint (only 8% made a formal complaint within their organisation) resulting in a third of women looking for another job or resigning.

This doesn’t just impact on families but also employers who lose valuable talent, sometimes without a full understanding of why. If productivity efficiency and employee retention are primary goals it makes good business sense for organisations to get on board early with addressing parent related discrimination.

Though the evidence may point out how far we have to go on this issue Commissioner Broderick also emphasized that during the consultations there were a number of employers already implementing ‘dynamic and leading strategies to overcome the challenges and support employees’.

Whilst it’s crucial to recognise the costs and inefficiencies of discrimination it’s also important to learn from those organisations doing the right thing.

Lochiel Crafter, Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors comments: “State Street is committed to supporting women and working parents in the workplace; we believe that maintaining a culture of diversity and inclusion is key to helping our employees feel valued and our business succeed. This training demonstrates our commitment to retaining and developing our people by providing parents returning to work with all of the information and support they need to excel in their roles.” 

The good news is, now that we have the evidence to support what’s happening in Australian workplaces, employers can create tighter strategies and lead the way with more enlightened practices to help reduce the occurrence and impact of discrimination. What’s more, we can use these findings to hone in on the organisations doing the right thing and hold them up as an example of best practice to help guide and inspire others to do the same.

What can be done? 

Best practice organisations are talking, they are implementing family friendly policies and practices, and they are conscientiously starting to shift the negative cultural influences around the issue.

It’s those proactive organisations we celebrate at Parents@Work (sister organisation to Mums@Work) and we’d love to hear more about those doing their best to reduce discrimination – send us a comment and we’ll share your brilliance here.

In the meantime here are our top tips on how to create a family friendly workplace free from discrimination:

For another 5 tips – get your free e-book ‘10 Tips to Creating a Family Friendly Flexible Workplace’ (click on the red button ‘Subscribe + Free E-book’)

The Review’s findings highlight why Parents@Work do what we do. Balancing a career with starting a family can be one of, if not, the most challenging balancing acts a working parent faces. To make it work parents need the support of their employer and colleagues. Thankfully, there are resources – like the Parents@Work Portal™ – and educational sessions – like the Career After Kids Forum – that can help organisations, managers and parents prepare and navigate the most challenging transitions.

Click on the relevant link for more information on the Parents@Work ProgramParents@Work Portal™ or Career After Kids Forum.

For the initial report visit the Human Rights Commission website.

A final report and recommendations of the National Review will be released by mid 2014.

We hope you’ll join us in our endeavour to advocate and push for change to create more family friendly and discrimination free workplaces.

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4 ways employers can improve executive-level diversity

Women in Leadership

This is a excellent article by HR Daily for employers and HR professionals looking to improve gender diversity at the executive level. The suggestions in the article are based on research by Kerry Baxter who conducted a study focusing on women in leadership roles (the final paragraph on approaches that do work is particularly valuable). It’s also worth noting  that all the women involved in the study were working parents.

Enjoy…

The careers of successful senior executive women have four key characteristics in common, and they’re areas that HR departments can influence to make the path easier for others, according to researcher and leadership coach Kerry Baxter.

Baxter, who completed her PhD on women in leadership roles, found that while there are no definitive secrets to success for women, patterns and themes emerge from their experience because “people who are successful always leave a trail”.

The 12 women she studied in detail faced all of the usual obstacles – gender-based stereotypes, glass ceilings, inhospitable corporate cultures and the like – but succeeded regardless, so HR professionals and women with executive aspirations can learn from their journey, she told a Robert Walters breakfast last week.

The barriers preventing more women from getting to the top of organisations can be broken down, she said. “You just need to know how.”

“The problem is not about education, roles and flexibility, but behaviour and what happens day to day.”

1. Belief in brand ‘you’

The first characteristic shared by the women in Baxter’s research was an “amazing sense of self-belief”, she said.

They each had a distinctive “brand” that reflected their true self; their behaviour consistently reflected their values, beliefs and feelings; and they were confident in who they were.

Also, Baxter said, “they didn’t go to work and turn into a leader”.

“Leadership was who they were; they led in everything they did.”

HR professionals can foster this characteristic in women by providing opportunities to develop their self-awareness, Baxter said, and encouraging them to “be authentic”.

Women should also be aware that the best way to discover one’s personal brand is when “backed into a corner”. Challenging situations requiring tough decision-making reveal who a person truly is and what drives them, she said.

2. Follow your passion

While men seem to have an ability to “cut through and do what makes them happy”, women tend to be much more conflicted by a sense of duty and competing priorities, Baxter said.

Her study found that successful women “didn’t go for work-life balance” – in fact, they were often out of balance, but they would “do one thing 100 per cent, then the next”.

They did, however, prioritise their work extremely well, and they chased opportunities in line with their passions, often meaning they had a non-traditional career path.

Women have to create their own freedom to follow their passions, and refuse to be pigeonholed, she said.

“You can’t sit in a role waiting for someone to pluck you out because you’re working hard. Nobody is going to fight for you as much as you can.”

HR can play an integral part in organisations doing this, Baxter said.

“What [they can do] is give people little small chunks or jumps – little leaps, little projects, little things – to do, and as you get those you get more experience and you get more confidence and you can actually make bigger leaps.”

3. Be ready to make ‘sideways leaps’

The women Baxter studied had non-linear career paths, often moving sideways – across industries or companies – which helped them progress faster than they would have by staying in a traditional path.

“These women didn’t go up a corporate ladder. They all moved sideways, in and out of industries and professions. Their careers appeared almost serendipitous.”

The women talked a lot about luck, she said, “but really, they knew where they wanted to go. When opportunities came, they wanted to take them. They took ownership of their individual success.”

Rather than mapping out their careers “paling by paling”, they mapped milestones, and leaped between them, Baxter said. “They put their hands up lots, and they took jobs no-one wanted.”

A key area for organisations working with women in their middle ranks is to help with the visibility of projects, and the confidence women need to put their hands up for these opportunities, she said.

“Focus on and know their strengths. Build on them.”

4. Stay connected

Every woman in the study had strong relationships and supportive connections; “they were connected at work, socially, and with their families”.

Each had a partner who contributed to what they loved doing, and they all “somehow managed the tension between dual careers”, Baxter said. They all had children, but their relationships meant they could drop in and out of careers; partners swapped roles to become primary caregivers and do “what was best for her career at that time”.

At work, the women each had a good relationship with their CEO or immediate boss, and that kept them in the organisation. “If it soured, they were quick to move on.”

The lesson on this point for HR departments is to focus on the supervisors and leaders of women to ensure they are supportive and “speaking the same language”, Baxter said.

“There’s no point sending [women] to a great leadership development course and then plonking them right back, smack-bang under a manager who says ‘You can’t do that. What do you mean you want to start at 9.30?’”

The women were also very good networkers, but “they were good because they loved what they were doing”, Baxter said.

Networking wasn’t a daunting activity because it was “like a conversation with a friend: ‘What are you doing? Here’s what I’m doing!’” and the women strategically made time for it.

Research often suggests executive women “aren’t good with other women”, but these women were, she added. “They were generous with their time. They didn’t ‘pull the ladder up after them’, and they had excitement [about supporting other women].”

A key message for HR is to facilitate networking opportunities and transfer of knowledge within and outside of the organisation, she said.

Involving women who have left and returned (following caring responsibilities, for example), can be useful because it assists with this, and HR shouldn’t underestimate the value of additional skills that women gain during their time out of paid work.

As the women in her study all had coaches, and mentors (although generally not through formal programs), HR should also look at ways to foster these relationships and arrangements, she said.

Implementing all of these things can be incredibly valuable in attracting and retaining women, because “development is one of the key things for people’s engagement”.

“That is a powerful story for HR to sell.”

What does and doesn’t work?

Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, Diversity Council Australia is urging employers to look carefully at their women’s leadership initiatives, noting evidence suggests many traditional approaches are ineffective.

After reviewing the latest research on leadership, DCA says the following ideas “don’t work:

  • The ‘pipeline theory’ that says gender balance will be achieved over time now that there are more women entering the workforce and moving into more senior roles;
  • Formal talent management programs that ignore gender (they are linked to lower representation of women than programs which acknowledge gender);
  • A focus on promoting ‘meritocracy’ (this results in gender biased decision-making and favours men); and
  • Asking women to ‘lean in’ more (they are already ambitious and leaning in, and men benefit more from leaning in than women).

The approaches that do work, on the other hand, include:

  • ‘Gender conscious’ initiatives such as targeted recruitment programs and women’s leadership development;
  • Fixing the culture by moving away from the ‘deficit model’ that says women are the problem;
  • Sponsorship (which is associated with women’s advancement) rather than mentoring (which develops women but doesn’t lead to their advancement);
  • Addressing bias of all kinds (conscious, unconscious, individual, organisational);
  • Targets and public accountability as well as a dedicated diversity function; and
  • Adopting a broader, more gender-inclusive (and effective) definition of leadership capability.

Parents@Work, 10 March 2014

Source: HR Daily, 3 March 2014

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Call for workplaces to catch up on family-friendly policies

Mother and child on computer

Australian workplaces are playing catch-up with modern families and need family-friendly policies beyond ”mums and bubs”.

A review of workplace policies and practices by the Centre for Work + Life at the University of South Australia found an organisation’s culture was the biggest determinant of work-life happiness and availability of family-friendly policies ”does not necessarily lead to their use”.

It warned that policies should not be seen as ”special consideration for working mothers” and said they meant little if they were not supported by management.

”Part-time work is no longer pin money for housewives – it’s actually people’s career job,” researcher Natalie Skinner said.

”No longer are working men the breadwinners. We’re going through a period of transition and workplaces have to catch up with the way the population looks now.”

Ms Skinner said workplace culture was the catalyst for making a difference: ”Managers and supervisors embody and communicate the culture. Their support is what employees really pay attention to.”

Employees’ caring responsibilities were a ”major issue” in the workplace, with the majority of families having two working parents, more fathers becoming primary carers and many people having elderly relatives to look after.

Ms Skinner said organisations need policies that recognise caring responsibilities, including flexible start and finish times, time off during the day, quality part-time work, the ability to work from home and paid parental leave.

”It’s really important we move beyond mums and babies,” Ms Skinner said. ”Managers, supervisors, executives, men and women should have appropriate access to flexibility and leave so it is something that is normal and OK.”

Her research found part-time work can also mean fewer job opportunities and less financial security.

RedBalloon has retail manager Liljana Petkovski’s ”undivided loyalty” because they have been so flexible with her work conditions.

When Ms Petkovski joined the company as a casual, she was four months’ pregnant. Before she went on maternity leave, she was guaranteed a permanent role upon her return to work.

After Zara was born, Ms Petkovski took nine months off before returning to work one day a week and building up to three days a week by the time her daughter was one. Ms Petkovski said having that flexibility was worth more than pay and maternity leave entitlements.

Parents@Work 3 March 2014

By Cosima Marriner
Source: SMH, 3 March 2014.

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Women in leadership who have had employer-sponsored coaching… we want to hear from you!

Women in LeadershipJust 26% or organisations in Australia and New Zealand have a clearly defined strategy to attract and retain women long enough to reach senior leadership positions, according to women’s leadership research conducted by Mercer in 2010. What’s more women in leadership positions identified insufficient career development, promotion pathways, mentoring provision, childcare cost and childcare availability as primary barriers to equality in the workplace (Committee for Economic Development of Australia, 2013).

If you are a woman in a leadership role this is your chance to contribute to the growing evidence that is helping lead to change cultural norms and organizational policies to support gender equality in the workplace.

I am collaborating with Jen North on a research study to explore what impacts the success of employer-sponsored coaching for women in leadership positions returning to work after a career break. The topic has been selected as an area of growing importance and we hope it will contribute to the academic literature available in the coaching arena.

To complete her research Jen will be interviewing a number of women who have received coaching to assist them with their return to work.

The interviews will take approximately 30 minutes and may be conducted face-to-face or over the phone. The interviews will take place between Thursday 20 March and Friday 28 March 2014 (with some flexibility available).

The research process is carefully managed through the University of Wollongong and specific requirements around ethics, participant information sheets and consent forms must be adhered to.

To ensure honest and accurate results confidentiality is paramount so your identity and the organisation you work for will not be revealed nor referred to in the final research paper.

If you would like to participate or have any questions please contact me on 0404 093 082 or Jen on 0400 466 014 as soon as possible to book a time for your interview.

Sincerely,

Emma

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