#TackleFlexism

Daniel Johnson

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Daniel is a Senior Structural Engineer and is responsible for managing and delivering the design and construction of structural and civil engineering projects. As a senior engineer with pitt&sherry, he has a varied role, which also includes management of design teams and resource allocation. This engineering experience has ranged from typical technical design to contract administration duties and on-site roles during construction. Daniel’s extensive experience in the design, construction and investigation of both Structural and Civil projects often involves extensive site work and interstate travel away from his family.

Daniel has a young family with 3 children under the age of 7 and a wife that has returned to part time work. To balance this busy lifestyle, Daniel works part time with a flexible arrangement that enables him to be a stay at home Dad for one day of the week and work increased hours for the remainder of the working week.

“The ability for me to work flexibly has enables me to be more present and involved in raising my children. Whether it be the day to day family routine or the ability to attend a school assembly or excursion, this extra involvement with my family and flexible work arrangement has helped to create a good balance between work and family. I feel that this improved balance between work and family has helped to foster a healthy and happy family environment, which has in turn improved my enjoyment and morale at work.”

Dan Mottau

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A senior organisation development specialist and certified leadership coach, I enjoy examining the underlying motivations and patterns of thinking that elicit amplifying and diminishing behaviours within teams. My work is influenced by behavioural psychology and anthropology, especially as their principles may be applied to leadership development and the cultivation of productive workplace cultures.

My career is best described as a choose your own adventure. Possessing in excess of 10 years’ experience across a variety of people and culture leadership roles, I’ve switched tracks a few times, to work with children in Nepal, and for a number of years, to tread the boards in Australian professional theatre.

“Flexible working” has meant many different things to me over my career, and has taken on a new meaning with the arrival of my son, Oliver.

To work flexibly once meant “balance” - - to find time and space aside from work - - a series of judgement calls and trade-offs. Employers were not always conducive to enabling the best version of myself.

People operate and respond differently under different circumstances, and yet businesses continue to maintain production line era thinking, as it applies to the structure and manner of work. This fulfils a desire for control, but does not deliver sustained engagement and high performance.

I now find myself at home with Zendesk - - a high-growth SaaS company, incorporated in San Francisco, who build software for better customer relationships.

Zendesk affords a great deal of personal freedom and trust. It is proactive in allowing people to determine their own definition of work-life “blend”, with a firm understanding of the return on investment; including, but not limited to, positive impacts on engagement, productivity and the achievement of organisational goals.

Businesses must empower people to define their optimal blend - - in their own terms.

Simon Hanna

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A registered optometrist, I have 2 young energetic children. My passions are my kids and my work (in that order). I worked for 12 years as a practising optometrist before moving into a teaching role and in my current policy and professional development role. I am passionate about flexible working because I have experienced firsthand the benefits of being able to work around my kids and family life, being able to give them the time they need, affording me the chance to have a work/life balance that gives me the opportunity to put in 100% at work and at home. As a consulting practitioner, I was bound by opening hours and appointment times. Working in an office environment, I am fortunate to be supported with flexible working hours that provide me with an opportunity to reduce stress and improve output, both at home and work.

Dan Paull

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 I often hear the mention of work-life balance as a goal that some pursue. This notion suggests some hard distinction between the two, a separation that must be achieved. The reality is that work is a large and important part of life along with family and friends, hobbies and other interests, community engagement, personal health and wellbeing. All these things need time and balance. They require a delicate orchestration to smoothly and effectively integrate them that seldom adheres to fixed and immobile time slots. My daughter’s recent operation for instance took place in another city and in the middle of the week. Supporting her was hardly compatible with the traditional notion of the nine-to-five work week especially with some deadlines due at work. The solution is simple – flexible working. I travelled to be with her but was able to make use of the remote access arrangements of our workplace to still deliver on the deadline. And she was grateful for the support. Allowing and promoting this type of flexible working not only recognises that people have complex lives to manage and that this management task is dramatically assisted with the provision of flexibility, the flexibility offered has the invaluable benefit of boosting happiness, motivation, engagement and satisfaction – it’s actually a great result for everyone! So, I’m a strong believer that life’s tricky balance and people’s wellbeing is greatly supported by a workplace that supports flexible working. Mine does. Does yours?

Jack Walden

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As a passionate traveller, flexible working has become my passport to the world; giving me the freedom to collaborate with incredible organisations and individuals no matter their location. Whatever professional hat I’m wearing (be it CEO, editor, lecturer...), with the speed of technology and travel both increasing exponentially, I can connect virtually or meet up face to face with some of the world’s most creative people. 

Flexible working has also allowed me to take advantage of bleisure (business + leisure travel) on countless occasions. From a strategic planning session overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice, to a day of writing surrounded by the beauty of Sri Lanka, I’ve managed to turn major tourist destinations into my office for the day, and continue to manage colleagues working on projects around the globe. 

As well as unlocking incredible travel experiences, flexible working allows me to prioritise time with my family and friends, and support them when they most need help. As a person whose career is built on creativity, flexible working also allows me to balance the inputs and outputs; giving me the breathing room to absorb new ideas and connect with the ever-growing community. 

The only barrier to unlocking the power of flexible work is people’s imagination.

Jack is the CEO of the C-Word Communications Agency and a founding sponsor of Flexible Working Day.

Ahmad Naous

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 I am Speaker,Balanced Scorecard Consultant, Best Practices Consultant,and Management Educator,who helps managers and organizations learn from their past,understand the present and create their future. As a BSC Practitioner, I have a unique experience in the field. My first writing book "The Science of Strategy Execution" "Knowledge of Allah" is the third generation after the Balanced Scorecard"1996" and the Execution Premium"2008" (two books written by Dr. Kaplan (Harvard Business School): "The Father of the Science of Strategy Execution" and Dr.Norton). The book is a transformation from theoretical performance management to practical analysis in MENA. For 9 years I have been VP Human Resources at AUL University. I hold MA from American University of Beirut and MBA from Beirut Arab University. I am also a Contributing writer to Strategy+Business, International member in American Society for Training and Development (ATD), Professional member in KPI Institute , XPC Practitioner and Member in SMS.

Eric Troost

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 I am a passionate leader with extensive local and international experience as a People & Culture practitioner. In my career I have held responsibility for various functions within People & Culture across Australia, Asia and Europe, in areas of Business Partnering, Operations and Talent. I strive to build and grow the organisations I work with by improving how they attract, develop and retain talent and create a great culture. In my current role as the Head of Talent for TAL - I am responsible for setting the strategy and delivering on our Talent and Inclusion road-map. In this dynamic role I can fulfill my passion in working with great people, creating an engaging employer brand, identifying & developing Talent and building an ever more inclusive workplace that allows people to bring their whole self to work. Offering flexibility in the workplace is paramount to increasing diversity in the workforce and ensuring people can live life to the fullest. I believe it's a critical element to be able to attract talented people to your organisation. I'm proud to work for TAL who have recently been awarded the Employer of Choice for Gender Equality Citation for the 5th time by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency TAL is one of Australia’s leading life insurance specialists and for over 140 years, we’ve been protecting people, not things. Together with our partners we protect more than 4 million Australians and their families, helping them look after what matters most, so they have the freedom to keep living the life they planned. Our purpose is to work every day to help Australians live a life filled with choices, options and freedoms, no matter what happens.

Abbey Kennedy

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Flexible working is the essential ingredient in balancing all the important aspects in my life. What underpins my ability to do this is trust between my team including my manager, and a clear set of KPI’s which measures my success based on quality of my output, not the time I spend achieving them. I utilise both formal and informal flex options which I draw upon, allowing me to be truly present to perform the task at hand. Whether that be on a Webex call at 9.30pm with my global colleagues, walking to pick my children up from school/day care or even making it to that 5pm gym class. Every day is different.

I am passionate about busting the myth that flexible work is only for parents with caring responsibilities. Flexible work should be for anyone, for any reason and approached with a view of how can we make this work. Sure, not all roles can utilise the same options as others, but we really need to explore the barriers on what is preventing some form of flexibility. In my opinion one of the biggest barriers to flexible work is our mindset!

Our social norms have shifted, and so have our expectations of our employers. Flexible work has proven to be successful attraction and retention strategy. It opens up a wider range of talent and is a key enabler in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment.

Roger Zammit

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Roger Zammit is the Chief Executive of the Badge Group and has more than 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, having held a number of project and leadership roles in both the public and private sector. Roger, joined the BADGE Group in 2003, initially leading the Project Management Division and delivering a number of significant design and construct projects across Australia.

In 2007 Roger was appointed BADGE SA State Manager, delivering business growth through client service and the development of personnel and in late 2008 was appointed the position of Group General Manager, responsible for overseeing the operations of the company on a national basis.

From 2009, Roger as Chief Executive has been responsible for the management of the BADGE Group, ensuring the organisation is working with synergy to achieve its vision and organisational goals. Roger is a member of the Board of Management.

Roger is a member of the South Australian Chiefs for Gender Equity Group.

Fiona Vines

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Fiona is a Human Resources executive with Operational, Talent, Culture and Change Management experience in the financial services and resources sectors. Fiona has deep expertise in developing inclusive workplaces and customer services. She was previously Global Head of Diversity at ANZ Bank and is currently the Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity at BHP – a world leading resources company with more than 60,000 employees and contractors, primarily in Australia and the Americas. In addition, Fiona is a member of Victorian Government Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality and is a board member of General Surgery (Royal Australasian College of Surgeons). Flexible working an important part of how BHP is moving to a gender balanced workforce by 2025. We know that work needs to flex for everyone at different stages of life and career to ensure women and men take up a more balanced share of care and unpaid work. In particular flex work will enable women to participate more fully in work throughout their lives, thereby closing the gender pay gap.

Martin Gregory

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Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Flexible Working Day Ambassador, Martin Gregory says: “The success of flexible working in the ABS is down to the hard work that we have done across the organisation and our holistic consideration of people, place and technology.

“Our default position that we expect managers to say ‘yes’ to reasonable flexible work requests from employees encourages open conversations about the possibilities and is reflective of our genuine ongoing commitment.

“Our approach has met the needs of the majority of our staff and provides ongoing benefits for the ABS – it’s been a win-win.”

Belinda Michalk 

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Belinda Michalk is a Partner at Sparke Helmore Laywers, D&I Advisory Committee member and Executive Sponsor for the Flexibility Network.

“ For too long, flexible working has been seen as something mothers do to balance work and parenthood. I believe that flexibility is about rethinking the one-size-fits all approach to work and recognising that our differences are also our strengths. Flexible working is about enabling everyone to work in a way that improves their wellbeing and works for the team, whether it be working part-time, working remotely from different cities, or different hours throughout the week.

In my team, we enjoy the benefits of flexibility for a range of different but great reasons – tennis training, further study, martial arts competitions and caring commitments (and that includes pets!).  

In the professional services field, there are unique challenges to be addressed in ensuring that flexibility works so that it’s sustainable for the business, for the team and the individual. A team-based approach to flexibility allows us to work differently, but collaboratively, to deliver our best to clients.”