With International Women’s Day yesterday, I’m reflecting on one of the most critical initiatives that I believe will help to improve gender equality and make the workplace a more inclusive for everyone.
Flexible working! It’s seen as a highly sort after benefit. According to Timewise, 14 million Brits want to work flexibly but only around 6% of roles are advertised with flexible working options. As a full-time working mother with two children under seven, being empowered to work flexibly has enabled me to do the morning school run, see the school play and care for sick children, whilst also taking on greater responsibility at work and being promoted. But I do know I’m one of the “lucky ones”. During a recent poll of women at the school gates, I found an IT specialist, two lawyers, an engineer, an interior designer and a professional make-up artist all desperate to find part-time work that would fit around school. School admin roles have never seen so much talent beating a path to their door!
There is a wealth of untapped female potential just waiting to be scooped up for the bold employers who are willing to push aside tradition working patterns and a culture of ‘presenteeism’.
At Zurich I utilize ‘FlexWork’ an initiative that empowers me to work in ways which best suit my needs both professionally and personally without the traditional limitations of when, where and how my work is performed. Launched in early 2016, FlexWork is now active in 16 countries in the Zurich Insurance Group. And I’m not the only one seeing and feeling the benefits. 78% of employees say they have a greater work-life balance, productivity is improving and there is a visible increase in both men and women working flexibly.
Working in this way is a win-win for both the individual and the organisation. I only hope that more organisations can also #BeBoldForChange on International Women’s Day and embrace flexible working.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work
environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your
diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email
[email protected] for more information.
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