IWD2018: how job sharing creates better leaders

To celebrate International Women’s Day, all week bluenotes will be guest edited by respected journalist and author Catherine Fox. We’ll be publishing content on women, their experience in the workplace and the future of equality. We hope you enjoy it.

“Working part time doesn't mean you don't care as much about doing the job,” ANZ Chief Information Security Officer, Lynwen Connick says.

The first member of the Department of Defence Australia's senior-executive service to work part time, Connick says she had to learn to trust, delegate and empower her other staff – traits she has carried with her throughout her career.

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Connick joined Erica Hardinge and Jacqui Loustau – who are about to begin a job share role as Security Influence and Outreach leads at ANZ – to talk about the importance of flexibility for both women and men.

"Once you do it and prove flexibility works you can dispel some of those myths," - Lynwen Connick

Two minds

Connick believes Hardinge and Loustau will gain much from having two minds working on a set of problems.

“Sometimes things will fall through the cracks and you've got to accept that and not get worried,” Connick says.

Everyone is human, after all, Loustau says.

“It's good to have that balance in our lives to be able to do all the things that we want to do," she says.

According to Connick there are many and diverse reasons people might want to work flexibly – but organisations have to be flexible in attitude too.

“When I was working part time I didn't have the opportunity to apply for a promotion," she says. "It was clear to me that, to move to the next level, I would have to be full time.”

Missing out

Connick says organisations are missing out on great talent by not encouraging flexible working.

As flexible working becomes more mainstream, Hardinge says recruitment companies will move to match individuals who may not know each other but both want a part-time job.

“It becomes a complementary skill set that you wouldn't necessarily get from a single individual,” she says.

Awesome AWSN

Founded by Loustau in 2016, the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN) aims to connect women across Australia and abroad, support women within the industry to grow, collaborate on common projects and inspire the next generation of women in security.

“It may seem like a small thing, but entering a conference where a sea of men greet you, could be overwhelming and scary,” Loustau says.

AWSN helps women to not feel so isolated by encouraging connection, networking and collaborating.

The women agree modern technology enables part-time staff to feel more connected to their workplace.

“Once you do it and prove flexibility works you can dispel some of those myths,” she says. 

To hear more of their conversation, listen to the podcast above.

Jemma Wight is production editor at bluenotes

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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