We catch up with Adam Fennessy, husband, father of three, partner at EY and former public servant for over two decades to find out more about how we can all take responsibility for championing change in the workplace.
A professional vision can smooth the transition back into the workplace after parental leave, and help you to achieve your personal and career goals, writes Grace Papers Coach & Facilitator, Amanda Meehan.
For those not familiar with the term, the mental load is a term coined by feminists referring to the "project management" role women undertake in our households, even though many men believe that they share equitably the household responsibilities. Who can resolve the discrepancy in perceptions?
Last week, the Yothu Yindi Foundation hosted the annual Garma Festival. Now in it's 18th year, Garma refers to itself as Australia’s Indigenous equivalent of the World Economic Forum held annually at Davos in Switzerland. Garma attracts an exclusive gathering of political, academic and business leaders from across the globe and is committed to improving the state of Indigenous disadvantage.
Yesterday I had the privilege of lunching with a couple of female footballers currently playing with the Western Bulldogs. I was working with them to prepare for their respective International Women's Day events next week. Their stories are truly extraordinary, and there were many moments when I found myself wiping the tears from my eyes in awe at what they've overcome, or feeling the hair on my arms stand up as they inspired me! But what struck me most was how they have described the culture of the club: inclusive, respectful, authentic. Each feels they are able to be themselves, to bring their whole self to the club environment, and that their contribution and potential is both celebrated and acknowledged. There is no fear about being vulnerable - openly same sex couples in AFLW a prime example.
There’s a Wendy Heath painting in my parent’s home depicting what I like to think is an image of a woman capable of anything. Draped in cutlery for her jewels, she simultaneously oozes sensuality through her attire expression. Perhaps Heath had drawn inspiration from the first ever cover of Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine: an adaptation of the Hindu Goddess Kali; tears streaming down her face, while she uses eight arms to juggle an over abundance of work and domestic tasks. Meanwhile, a baby bump is growing from within.
With 1 in 2 women continuing to experience some form of pregnancy related discrimination, its evident that in Australia employees taking parental leave are managed poorly. So here are some of our top tips for employers supporting pregnant staff members and those returning to work.
And honestly, the sadness really took me by surprise. This was 'the dream' for so many mothers, wasn't it? Solo-time in a city far, far away from screaming and sandwich crusts and poo and Playschool. Where I could go to bed without fear of being woken three times during the night, wake up at my own pace and eat breakfast in peace. Where I could make plans at the last minute and drink as many wines as I like because I wasn't dealing with a toddler the next day...
Did you know, that 1 in 4 women with children under 2 years of age will permanently leave the workforce? It is a significant cost to businesses, who have invested in training and development of their key talent, and who often don't realise how much more skilled women are after they have had a baby - their crisis management skills are exceptional for starters!
Three quarters of Australian men say they’d like to work flexibly if it didn’t damage their career, and yet they are happy for their partners to do so.... Fortunately the tide is turning; people are realising that careers aren’t broken from taking time off and that men are parents too. One such father and all round great guy is Brendan Ferguson. He's a Principal consultant with Social Ventures Australia, leading their work with Indigenous Australians. He has been with the organisation for three years and last year, when his son Alexander was 10 weeks old, he took 7 and a half months paternity leave taking on the role of primary-carer.
It's called the burnt toast syndrome. And it affects mothers. Mum makes breakfast for the family, but one of the pieces is overcooked. She could jump in straight away and grab the good pieces, but she doesn’t. She waits. She offers the plate of toast to the rest of the family and then takes the last piece for herself; the burnt one. Mum puts herself last. She always does. She prioritises family and makes sacrifices so that no one else has to feel inconvenienced or disappointed.
With 3 kids under 5 and my wife Prue about to launch a new business, I rather enthusiastically yet completely naively decided it was time for me to assume the role of Chief Parenting Officer. Three months break was what I was envisioning: lazy breakfasts, coffees, baby cinos and newspapers, afternoon naps (for all), plays in the park. A good opportunity to spend some time with the kids and get out of the corporate rat race for a while.
It's the one time in your life your personal and professional lives collide: when to tell your boss you're pregnant. For working women, the choice to communicate the most exciting of news is not a matter of if but when. But even for top talent, all too often, this exciting news is met with disappointment because managers are often ill-equipped and unsupported to manage a parental leave absence and flexible work arrangements.
There were stand out performances that really spiked our attention at #RIO2016: Rugby Sevens and Kim Brennan. And not just because they won gold, but because they represent the opportunities that present when we look at a persons potential, and not just their experience.
At a coaching session with a new father last week, I was asked about my thoughts on the best solution for childcare. In my experience, there is no perfect solution to childcare - and for me, that includes me staying home full time to care for the little people I love and adore. But what continues to frustrate me, is that the narratives we give to parents about the "ideal mother" and the "ideal worker" are completely incompatible
A study of over 1000 Australian working mums has proven why they are so exhausted. They’re working longer hours than the average CEO. The study, conducted on behalf of the Cenovis Women’s Health Index, surveyed women with one or more children under the age of 17. The research found that Australian mums are working up to 80 hours a week - in paid employment and running their household.
Well the 2016 Budget has been handed down and it doesn't look good for working parents; particularly women returning to work after having a baby. The reform package that was supposed to alleviate expensive and unobtainable childcare has been put off for another year and parental leave cuts are set to continue.
There is a booming industry in Australia and other developed countries dedicated solely to helping employees - overwhelmingly women - to strike the balance between work and family through helping them access flexible work.
A year ago the UK government introduced a revolutionary policy giving men the opportunity to care full time for their new baby. The shared parental leave scheme offered parents the ability to split 52 weeks’ leave, receiving some payment for 39 of those weeks.
Barry Divola is a writer extraordinaire who works for The Sydney Morning Herald, Rolling Stone and is a music critic for Who magazine. He has published seven books - including three non-fiction, one fiction and three kids' books. His eighth book, about the iconic Australian guitar company Maton, is out in May.
For many women, pregnancy is seen as a hurdle in their career, or worse, an end to it. But for Sally Hepworth, having a baby and going on maternity leave allowed her to fulfil a lifelong dream to write.
Flexibility in the workplace is essential for working fathers too. As Jane Gilmore argues "women are never going to be able to access an equal level of professional opportunity until men take on equal responsibility for unpaid work and feel free to value and take pride in their role as carer".
According to a report by McKinsey there are 6 types of intervention necessary to bridge the gender gap, which globally could contribute $12trillion to global growth. Isn't that great?! Someone has finally valued all that work that teaches us how to build connections, how to imagine and how to love, and valued it at $12trillion!!!