Deonne Rowland and Laura Rawstorne have worked together in a senior job share role thanks to the Civil Service Job Share Finder.
Deonne Rowland and Laura Rawstorne used to work together in the Treasury, but at the time they both worked full time. When Laura registered on the Civil Service Job Share Finder, she came across Deonne’s name. The site is run by Civil Services Human Resources which won this year’s Workingmums.co.uk Top Employer Award for Innovation in Flexible Working.
Because the two women already knew each other and that they would get along well and were in a similar place in terms of experience it seemed a great match. Laura got in touch with Deonne via the finder, they met for lunch and went on to form a successful job share partnership at the Department for Education as Deputy Directors of Academies Strategy. Their case study has been used as a best practice example across the whole Civil Service.
Deonne and Laura worked the job share in a particular way due to the nature of the role they were covering. They both covered all areas of their role rather than each building on a particular specialist skill. This was because they worked across a fast-paced policy area, meaning they both needed to be ready to cover anything that cropped up at short notice. Similarly, they both managed their direct reports so that they were both able to cover ongoing performance management no matter what day of the week key meetings fell on.
Deonne and Laura, who had a regular day each week when they did a handover, found a host of advantages to job sharing:
• The job share definitely opened up the job market for them, meaning they were better able to go for promotion when the job they wanted came up (and get it!).
• Two minds are better than one. Having someone else to work through problems with meant that not only did they feel they produced better policy advice as a result, but they felt more resilient too as they never felt like they were taking on a problem alone.
• They both genuinely felt like their non-working days were their own. There was no temptation to reach for the smartphone….
Laura [pictured] says: “I’ve been working as a job share for over two years, and it’s been amazing. In addition to all the benefits of having two heads working together to solve problems, a companion to talk through any difficult times with, and someone to challenge your usual ways of thinking – it has been a great career-wise. Working as a job share opened up a world of job opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise working three days a week, and enabled me to get promoted to the Senior Civil Service.”
The job share has now ended as Deonne has moved to a full-time post. However, Laura is keen to continue in a job share and is now looking for another partner and using the job share finder to do so. She says: “The Civil Service Job Share Finder website helps you to view who is searching at the same level as you, to match working patterns and work-areas of mutual interest. As a result I’ve been introduced to several individuals from across Government and am hopeful that one will soon lead to a new partnership.”
*workingmums.co.uk’s free Best Practice Report 2019 which highlights what the winners of our Top Employer Awards do and includes case studies like Deonne and Laura’s will be published next Friday for International Women’s Day. Request your copy below.