Where next for family friendly and inclusive working?

WM People has published a white paper on what we have learned over the past decades and where we go next for inclusive, family-friendly working.

Woman working at home at a desk holding a pen, depicting family-friendly working, photo tinted blue and yellow.


How can we move the agenda forward on inclusive and family friendly working in the face of conflicting pressures, backlash against flexible working and diversity and inclusion and ongoing childcare problems?

This was the impetus behind a recent roundtable with a group of people who have been working for several years – sometimes decades – in the working family and diversity space. We wanted to discuss what we have learned about what works when it comes to moving forward and where we go from here.

Those taking part were Lucy Daniels, Founder of the Working Mothers’ Association; Sarah Jackson, former CEO of Working Families, Chair of Parents and Carers in Performing Arts and a visiting Professor at Cranfield School of Management; Jenny Garrett, Global Career and Leadership Coach and author; Han-Son Lee, Founder of Daddilife; Salma Shah, Founder of the Mastering Your Power coaching programme; Mandy Garner, Managing Editor at WM People; and Claire Campbell, CEO of Timewise.

The discussion, covered in a free white paper, ranged from talk of all the key current challenges to what we have learned. It concludes with a section on where we go next, with suggestions for managers and recruiters as well as for key areas such as flexible working, family support and diversity and inclusion.

When it comes to management, for instance, the report says proper management training for empathy is vital and the emphasis should be on encouraging collaboration rather than competition. Job shares are a great example of collaboration in action, says the report.

On flexible working, there was a stress on ensuring flexible jobs are more available, but that they can realistically be done within the hours advertised. The report also says that recruiters’ focus should be on the competence to get the job done rather than ‘confidence’ and it says employers need to accept that the process may not be as quick or easy if they want the best talent.

*To request a free copy of the report, click here.

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