LEAD Network Switzerland Chapter Webinar

“Empowering parents to successfully juggle career & caring is critical to Women’s Advancement”

April 4th, 12.00 PM CET

Did you know that an estimated 43% of women quit their jobs when they have children? In contrast, only 28% of men have ever had to reduce their working hours to meet their family’s needs? This is according to Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and Founder of FlexJobsRemote.co and 1 Million for Work Flexibility as shared in an article with Forbes last year. But this isn’t just a “women’s issue”, according to a study by PWWOWNOW, 75% of UK employees favor flexible working arrangement. The 2017 Deloitte Millennial Global Survey showed that millennials who work in highly flexible workplaces are 2.5 times more likely to say that flexible working practices have a positive impact on financial performance than those in more restrictive organizations. And when we look at the retail side, the 2018 Time Wise Retail Pioneer Survey showed that 36% of retail store staffs are unhappy with the level of flexibility they have and 49% thing part-time managers have full-time workload. And finally, when we asked our members in our 2018 LEAD Network member survey about what the key barriers are to the advancement of women in our sector, a lack of work-life integration and flexible working options was the number one reason cited.

All this is a real wake up call and we believe a call to action for organizations. If we want to progress on gender equality, be a sector of choice for future generations to work in and retain our top talent, flexible working arrangements are a must. Many of our partners are already making great progress and are tackling this issue head-on. This is why we at the LEAD Network, are launching our next best practice campaign called “FLEX FOR THE FUTURE”.

But what do we mean by flexible working? Flexible working could have a variety of meanings in different companies and can come in different shapes and forms but is mainly linked to the location, time and amount of work associated with a role. Some companies might also call it “Agile Working” or “Smart Working”.

As part of the FLEX FOR THE FUTURE Best Practice Campaign, we will look at flexible working in terms of location, time and the amount of work, and explore leading practices and policies our LEAD Network Partner implemented in their organizations. In our webinar series, we’ll explore what some of the different part-time models like job sharing and job splitting look like, how parental leave is evolving, and what insights organizations have about enabling flexible working. We also know that policies and practices alone will not make a difference as there is often a social stigma attached to working part-time and managers often fear being burdened with additional workload if allowing a team member to reduce hours. So unless organizations also look at the cultural required to remove the bias linked to flexible working, progress will be slow. So we want to also hear from the inspiring role models within our sector who are proving that working flexibly can work, from the managers who are creating opportunities for both men and women to flex their work style and look at what each and every one of us can do to make flexible working….well, normal. 

At the LEAD Network, we believe that flexible working is a key enabler for more gender diversity. When both men and women are able to share child or elderly care responsibilities, we are leveling the playing field and are making a positive impact on gender equality, but we are also increasing engagement and happiness in the workplace, increasing productivity and have the ability to make a positive contribution to people’s careers, if done in the right way.

If you missed this webinar, then watch the recording here with Deborah Croft on “Empowering parents to successfully juggle career & caring is critical to Women’s Advancement”!