Champagne in your French Chalet & Flexible Work Darlinks? Why, yes please….

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What is there to say about this jet-setting amazing person? 

Allison is inspirational.  In the short time I’ve known her, she returned home to Australia in tow with her lovely partner, Rob.  She’d completed her gig at Burberry, moved to regional Victoria and took on a major role with a retail chain.  She subsequently was made redundant whilst she was on maternity leave with Scarlett.  

Allison flitted between the UK and Australia, finally settling into some pretty senior contract roles with PwC, purchasing a Chalet in France, getting married Great Gatsby style and then negotiating an amazing arrangement of flexibility that allows her the best balance she can find whilst pursuing her career, renovating her chalet and enjoying her life in Europe as she flits between London & France.

Allison is truly spell binding, her approach to life is like a cold glass of lemonade on a hot day – refreshing, sparkly and effervescent.  Luckily for us she also adds some vodka and lime along the way during our chat to truly inspire us in how to live our lives better.

We are truly blessed to have Allison join us to chat about her life and thank you from the bottom of our hearts as she caught up with us from her French Chalet!  We hope you enjoy this chat as much as we enjoyed having it!

Adele & Tash: The CEO & HR Manager who make flexibility work!

This PodCast was such a delight to be a part of and we could have kept chatting for hours (hmm, yes okay we like to chew the fat).  We were so grateful to have Natasha Besliev, CEO of Bonnier Publishing Australia, and Adele Coultas, HR Manager of Bonnier Publishing Australia.

Their stories of flexible work, the dreaded term “work life balance” and how they’ve implemented a cultural change from presenteeism/standard office hours, to output driven is one that is inspiring.  These ladies just clicked when they first met, are both career women, mums, professionals who put their heart and soul it seems into everything they do.

This is a realistic look at teamwork, and an honest, pragmatic and true account of how to get flexibility right in the workplace.  It hasn’t been without hiccups, or opponents but it is being adopted very well.  This Podcast will give you a feel for what an interesting and successful company these two amazing woman are enjoying being apart of.

We find these ladies inspiring, thoughtful, considerate in their approach to people and delivering business outcomes with sensitivity, precision and care.  A huge Thank You to Tash and Adele for your valuable time.  Enjoy!

Carolyn & Priscilla – Absolutely Fabulous in their own way!

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It’s a Friday lunchtime.  We could be at the gym, we could be reading a book, we could be running around crazy, performing any number of juggling acts, like most days, oh yes, and we could be at work…  but instead we are  drinking champagne, eating delicious food from The Mabel, and chewing the fat on flexibility. 

The fact that we each have the flexibility to do so is worth celebrating, but for single mums, Carolyn and Priscilla, flexibility is not a luxury but a necessity.    

Carolyn and Priscilla join us to chew the fat on the flexibility it takes to raise a child on your own – from deciding how many days to work once the kids are at school, to learning how to stop and smell the roses (roses?), to being able to ask for help, to feeling like you are not alone… and then there’s the conversation about … oh, that’s right, we had pressed stop by then thank goodness!  There was a limit on the warts and all… just!

Carolyn and Priscilla are both human resource champions.  They have both managed  and developed their careers whilst raising their children, sought out the flexibility they needed, and very much kept their sense of humour throughout.  They shared with us openly and candidly their challenges, what they wish they had known and what they do to make the juggle work for them.  We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.  Thanks Carolyn and Priscilla for your generosity, openness and for the ripsnorter laughs. 

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Thanks to the Mabel for a great lunch.

Holiday Queen

Laini

Laini Shaw is the Holiday Queen.  And I’m jealous.  She has managed to intrinsically manouvre a HR career and massive chunks of time off to enjoy her passion of travel.

How? What? Why? How? Blink, gulp, how on earth did this HR Professional manage to challenge the status quo, re-align her entrenched professional ethos of 4 weeks annual leave per year and move to a more holistic, laid back, balanced lifestyle.

Well, her gorgeous bloke had something to do with it.  A Mr “Challenge the Status Quo” kind of guy who adores the pants of Laini and gives her passion room to roam and her head space to think.

Laini is fabulous.  She talks us through her background and how she came to breakthrough her thinking of enjoying life more, embracing her passion and loving life more and more, enjoying and thriving in her career and taking stock on what’s important.  Laini lights up my world when I’m around her, I hope she lights up your life for 40 minutes or so and you can enjoy her story.

Laini hopes her chat with Helen will inspire others to think outside the box of 9-5 and do things that make their heart sing – including travel…take that trip!!!

You can check Laini out on Facebook or Instagram – The Occasional Israeli.  

Enjoy x

Finding Your Balance

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It’s a pleasure to bring you the altogether fabulous Jo Stevens.  Jo is someone who is ridiculously talented, hard working, courageous, smart, delightful and effortlessly classy.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Jo for over 8 years now and she helped me pass the dreaded Performance Management Class at Uni – I’m forever grateful Jo!  

Jo and her gorgeous partner Jamie, have a little guy Alfie and some ups and downs along the way which Jo talks about which will break your heart.  We want to acknowledge and thank Jo for sharing her heartfelt story with us, her candour, raw honesty, yet gentle and exploratory way of embracing life, hurdles and all that she shared was truly humbling for me.

Her approach to flexibility, pursuing life and passions and sharing the family load is gorgeous.  She’s considered, smart, breathtakingly refreshing in her pursuit of life.

I take my hat of to you Jo Stevens, you amazing Lady.  Knowing you professionally was an honour, but to have a journey with you into some of your most sacred world and for sharing it with us, was truly special, I sincerely thank you.

Ladies and Gents, the amazing Jo Stevens.

The Whole Package

CarPool Karoeke

What do you get when you put a Car Karaoke Queen who is a HR Guru together with a Travel Queen & highly intelligent CPA/IT/Business Transformation Specialist ….. you got it, The Whole Package.  We are delighted to introduce to you Sharna Peters and Deanna Spowart, the newest and brightest combination to hit one of Australia’s well known organisations right between the eye balls, in a totally awesome way.  The Job-Share Dynamos!

Deanna & Sharna are Job Share Partners in their workplace and they talk us through the dicy, amazing, often sizzling world of Job-Share.  The insights, laughs, intelligence, thought and results that these ladies bring to the table will give you goose bumps.  This is a warts and all look at how they’ve manufactured the path of Job-Share within an organisation that absolutely raves about all things flexibility, and they are pioneers in their space.  They very much remind us of our PodCast “My Work Wife” and we hope you enjoy the effervescence of these two, and you learn and glean tips of how much hard work they have put into making their Job-Share work, and work well.

 If you hang around at the end, there’s a little surprise for you, something you might be able to sing along to …. and that’s all we’ll say!

The Incredibles

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OK, so juggling isn’t your forte, ours either, but we’ve found a family that juggles a full life – working professional parents, 5 kids, 4 families, 1 very gorgeous dog, 15 acres, sporting events, school drop off and pick up and manage to be so happy.  They talk about the kids being the barometer of their family.  They have family meetings, regularly.  No subject is off limits.  This is a family of incredible care and communication skills, and we are profoundly grateful to Steve & Liv Zan for letting us have a privileged sneak peak into their beautiful, caring and organised lives, that for most of us ordinary folk would turn into some sort of chaos, but for them, works like a well oiled machine.  But it wasn’t without hard work, dedication and a solidarity of leading by example by Steve & Liv.  There’s some lessons here that were hard fought, not without trial and error but delightfully the universe has rewarded their hard work and commitment to provide a strong, stable, reliable and comfortable home and work life for all of them, all 8 of them (dog included of course!).

So what was the secret for them.  Steve is a Change Manager and has applied those principles from the workplace into his family life.  Communication, Consultation, regular Family Meetings and a clear and unwavering support of each other.  Liv is absolutely gorgeous and nurturing in her role of keeping the Zan Ship full steam ahead and pursuing her career.  She speaks delightfully about the joys of study, being a Mum and entering the workforce and finding her confidence and balance.

We were so privileged to get an insight to the workings of a blended family who clearly have a focus on providing strong, considered, nurture and love to their lives and the lives of their gorgeous kids.  A true privilege to hear their story, and we truly think they are the incredibles.

Wonder Woman

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Ok folks, it’s been a while but we are delighted to bring you, the one, the only, the delightful, incredibly talented, gorgeous, considerate and effervescent Angela Sparano to our Podcast Chewing the Fat on Flexibility.  Angela is one of the most delightful, pragmatic, strategic, consultative, passionate and engaged HR Practitioners (how manages risk not puts roadblocks in business’ way!) we have had the privilege to know over the last 10 years and we’re delighted she’s sharing her story on Chewing the Fat on Flexibility.

Angela is now on a delightful flexibility journey, 15 years into her career and we couldn’t be more proud of her pursuing her passion in the artistic field of Interior Design and continuing in her professional pursuit as a HR Professional.

Angela is a gorgeous woman (guys, I’m hunting down a suitor for her so send your CV with supporting “qualifications” to me so I can screen you appropriately 😉 ).  She’s a real Honey, someone whom I’m blessed to have known and worked with who has carved her own path in the flexibility field without the back up of legislation, but truly because she’s a hard working amazing woman.  I’m delighted to bring you this PodCast tonight and I hope you enjoy as much as I’ve enjoyed knowing this amazing woman!

Click on our iTunes Account Here or click on play below to hear the delightful Angela Sparano.

 

Want to attract more women to your workforce? Read this …….

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ABS has done a major recruitment drive during 2015 and made some major inroads in increasing gender diversity.

Success!  

43% of women are in senior executive roles as compared to 21% in 2014.

How did they do it?

A few things.  First, they introduced new recruitment measures – removing names and genders from CVs. The other thing they did, They asked women what they wanted.

Imagine that!

They started designing jobs that met the needs of employees: with flexibility, work from home options, and the ability to work from another office. Hiring staff were directed not to make assumptions about what women want and to encourage women to apply.

Looking to hire women? OR, looking to increase flexibility requirements in your workplace?

A few tips:

  • Cut the assumptions.
  • Ask female AND male candidates about their ideal working scenario.
  • Make the shortlist ‘blind’
  • Address language on the job description
  • Take a good, hard look at your company website.
  • Create a gender-balanced interviewing panel.
  • Introduce a formal mentoring scheme.
  • Show you’re committed to hiring women by offering great entitlements.

FlexConnect equips and empowers Organisations, Managers & Employees for Flexibility.  Take our diagnostic to see how you’re equipped for flexibility.

http://www.womensagenda.com.au/talking-about/editors-agenda/item/7068-how-to-double-women-at-the-top-in-just-a-few-months