Mother’s Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the important role mothers play in our society. Unfortunately, our community and workplaces don’t often make it easy for mothers (or fathers) to undertake their caring roles alongside paid work. This Mother’s Day and in the wake of the Federal Budget, Diversity Council Australia encourages employers to think about how they can make flexible working and careers standard business practice for everyone.
Nareen Young, DCA's CEO, said flexibility is still not viewed as a legitimate career choice in contemporary Australian workplaces, based on ground-breaking research Get Flexible: Mainstreaming Flexible Work in Australian Business undertaken by DCA in partnership with Westpac and supporting sponsors Stockland, Origin Energy and Allens:
“For too long, flexible working has meant low paid, insecure part-time work with little career prospects. As many mothers will attest, it is often a real struggle to find work that acknowledges their hard won skills and expertise but also provides much-needed flexibility.
"More single parents returning to work, as the federal government winds back payments when their children reach a certain age, face real challenges and will need all the help they can get to find work that enables them to also fulfil their caring responsibilities.
“In my view, the best present you can give a mother or father is access to decent paid work that is flexible enough to enable them to perform their caring responsibilities, but without leaving them on the career scrap-heap," said Nareen.
High profile and influential Australians have joined DCA's campaign in support of mainstreaming flexibility and among these are the Hon Susan Ryan AO, Age Discrimination Commissioner, Deborah Thomas, Director of Media, Public Affairs and Brand Development, ACP Magazines and Tracey Spicer, Journalist, Presenter and Radio Broadcaster.
Although Mother's Day provides a timely reminder for this message, Nareen cautioned that flexible working is not just for mothers with young children:
“Flexible working should be available to everyone for a broad range of reasons – from fathers who want to be involved in the hands-on caring for their children, to those who have elderly parents who need care, or those who want to ease back on work as they prepare for retirement,” said Nareen.
For more information on DCA’s Get Flexible! Ambassadors and campaign, including video contribution from Michael Rose, Chief Executive Partner, Allens on the importance of flexible working, visit: www.getflexible.dca.org.au.