22 May 2019
Today is Flexible Working Day, an international day to celebrate and showcase the benefits of flexible work for the individual and for the organisation. As an organisation, YWCA Canberra is proud to say that it has made a commitment to offering flexible working arrangements to all its staff.
Today, we caught up with our Chief Executive Officer, Frances Crimmins who has been a Flexible Working Day Ambassador since 2017 to find out more about why she is an ambassador and why flexible work arrangements are important to her.
Why are flexible working arrangements important to you personally?
I have utilised flexible working arrangements when returning to work after both my children. It was important for me to have an agreed pattern of hours in place as this supported both my external needs and my work accountability to my colleagues and clients.
How do flexible working arrangements help to achieve Gender Equality?
We know that providing flexible working arrangements to staff is an integral strategy to achieve gender equality inside and outside the workplace. It also helps to find a work-life balance and look after or improve their wellbeing.
Flexible working arrangements allow women, and especially those with carer responsibility, to access work within the days and hours most suitable to them. This enables more women to participate in the workforce, which means they are less likely to miss out on superannuation, promotion opportunities, and pay rise opportunities.
How does YWCA Canberra lead by example when it comes to flexible working arrangements?
Here at YWCA Canberra, we have a formal Workplace Flexibility Strategy in place. This document outlines how we approach flexible working arrangements for all staff members, and why we see flexible work as an integral part of our organisation and culture.
The strategy also reaffirms my commitment to managers and directors within the organisation for accessing flexible working arrangements. These arrangements are for everybody, and I believe it is essential managers proactively support flexible working arrangements and lead by example.
How do you lead by example when it comes to working flexibly?
My children now are independent, so while I no longer need a flexible work arrangement, I have utilised this in the past. This has included working condensed hours and a combination of shorter and longer workdays.
As a Flexible Work Ambassador, what is the one thing that you want people to take away from Flexible Working Day?
Most of the work we do at YWCA Canberra is front line services. We have had some creativity in what a workplace flexible arrangement looks like, for example in our early learning services, condensed rosters are the most popular and 60 per cent of our permanent staff work part-time at their request. Once an organisation shifts towards this it becomes the normal practice and staff feel comfortable in requesting a flexible work agreement. In other words, the policy needs to get off the shelf and into practice!