IT CAN BE DONE

The Courier-Mail - Career One - - Job Focus -

3.5 PER CENT OF CHIEF EX­EC­U­TIVES AND 17.6 PER CENT OF DI­REC­TORS OF

ASX200 COM­PA­NIES ARE

FE­MALE

such. “It’s work­ing well. We’ve still got a long way to go though,” says Tel­stra Busi­ness group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Will Irv­ing, who him­self uses the flex­i­bil­ity ini­tia­tive to help care for his school-aged chil­dren.

Irv­ing says al­though it is too early to see what ef­fect it will have on the num­ber of women in lead­er­ship po­si­tions, he be­lieves it will be more suc­cess­ful than any at­tempt at es­tab­lish­ing a quota sys­tem.

“The big con­cern people have with quo­tas is people think they will be viewed get­ting a job be­cause of who they are, not what they’ve achieved,” he says.

“We’re start­ing from the propo­si­tion that we will do what­ever we can do to make ev­ery role flex­i­ble and that’s un­leashed a level of cre­ativ­ity (among work­ers) that we have never seen be­fore.”

friendly work prac­tices re­sult in re­duced ab­sen­teeism, in­creased pro­duc­tiv­ity, greater staff re­ten­tion and in­creased morale and job sat­is­fac­tion.

“How Aus­tralian men and women split work and fam­ily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties continues to be a chal­leng­ing is­sue,” he says.

“How­ever, if more men were to em­brace flex­i­ble work­ing ar­range­ments such as work­ing part-time, seek­ing job shares or work-from-home op­tions and in­crease their care-giv­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, gen­der in­equal­ity in the work­force could be re­duced.” Part-time jobs are the norm rather than the ex­cep­tion across all roles at Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank’s re­tail di­vi­sion.

All em­ploy­ees can work flex­i­ble hours in as lit­tle as two days to as many as five, while some roles that have full-time re­quire­ments, such as store man­ager, can be shared be­tween two work­ers.

As­sis­tant store man­ager Bronte King has worked for NAB for 15 years, in­clud­ing in var­i­ous part-time roles since she re­turned from ma­ter­nity leave three years ago. Now her se­nior role is also part time.

“Af­ter spend­ing sev­eral years in head of­fice roles I was keen to get back into our stores, work­ing with cus­tomers and leading staff,” she says.

“I have been lucky to work with sup­port­ive man­agers who have un­der­stood my ca­reer as­pi­ra­tions.

“I have the best of both worlds. I get to spend time at home with my chil­dren but also lead a ful­fill­ing ca­reer.”

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