Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best...read more
Event aimed at parents looking to switch to a flexible working arrangement attracts the crowds
The event was held at Sandown racecourse in Surrey and hosted by Mother Pukka herself Anna Whitehouse. It brought together employers pioneering flexible working arrangements and folk who want to change their hours to fit with family life or who are looking to get back into the workplace but on a flexible basis.
Attendees had the opportunity to speak to representatives of companies looking for flexible employees. Big names like builders Sir Robert Macalpine, aerospace group Thales and Barclays Bank were there. Workingdads.co.uk and workingmums.co.uk hosted a popular stall where folk could sign up for our job alerts and talk to the team about best practice.
There was also a CV clinic and a creche for young children.
A pleasing number of men as well as women mingled and wandered through the main hall with children in buggies or under their arms.
There was also a number of seminars throughout the day offering advice on why flexible working is a good idea, how to apply for it, and how to make it work once you’ve reached agreement with your employer.
Lance Doughty, executive vice chairman of Capgemini, works every second week. His advice was to think about how flexible working will work for you but also how it will affect your colleagues and your company. However, he explained that even though he now only works one week in two he insisted his employers still fronted up the same level of bonus if he hits his Key Performance Indicators.
Others told the audience that ‘leaving loudly’ was important for men. Lance Pepper of LinkedIn explained how he initially felt nervous about leaving the office at 4pm when he changed his hours after becoming a dad. However he now sees the power of role modelling. He claimed that by clearly stating why he was leaving early he’s helped changed the dynamic in the LinkedIn office for parents.
And Anna Whitehouse, aka Mother Pukka on Instagram where she has tens of thousands of followers, added a positive note. She said employers are keen to embrace flexible working but many don’t know how. “We need to stop lambasting them and hold their hands,” she added.