As part of our support for Flexible Working Day 2017, FlexCareers will be showcasing some of the great work our clients in New Zealand are doing with regards to flexibility, and their commitment to offering flexible working arrangements as part of a broader strategy to increasing female participation in the workforce at leadership level.
New Zealand has been leading the work on gender diversity through Champions for Change, an initiative by Global Women. Founded in 2015, Champions for Change brings together CEOs and Chairs from across the public and private sectors to improve diversity and inclusiveness in New Zealand’s leadership and the wider business community. Comprehensive, voluntary reporting through the Champions of Change framework is a clear sign of support for, commitment to, and authenticity in changing the landscape in New Zealand and embracing diversity as not only the right thing to do, but as something proven time and again to be good for business.
One organisation deeply committed to supporting Champions for Change, is FlexCareers client Westpac NZ.
Westpac NZ understands that a key enabler of gender diversity, and meeting these targets, is having flexible working practices firmly embedded within the organisation. Westpac NZ believes that flexibility is about more than good policies – it’s about flexibility in thinking, and being innovative in meeting the needs of its customers and employees.
Westpac offer a range of options to its employees, including:
- part-time work
- career breaks
- job sharing
- purchased leave
- generous parental leave
- carers’ portal with support services and information
Westpac NZ has also been proactive in developing an online flexibility toolkit to support its people leaders with step-by-step processes to apply flexible working practices within their teams.
Partnering with FlexCareers has helped Westpac NZ to identify and target female talent for key positions, and ensure that shortlists have strong representation from women – particularly in those areas of the business that have typically been more male dominated. Westpac NZ’s Senior Talent Acquisition Manager, Clare Montgomerie says,
Candidates from FlexCareers have been of a very high calibre and we are attracting applications from a talent pool that we may not have accessed via other channels.
But it’s not just a case of placing a job on a jobs-board. FlexCareers works closely with our community members to provide advice and support, either through our free online coaching sessions or though connecting applicants to our panel of career, life and leadership coaches. We also support our clients by facilitating peer-group round-table discussions, training and coaching. Clare continues,
Using FlexCareers has also assisted the discussion internally around what flexible working truly means. Hiring managers better understand that there are many types of flexibility and by considering flex for roles it broadens the candidate pool.
The overall aim is to ensure that when our community members apply for a role through FlexCareers, both the applicant and the clients are in a position to have an open and productive discussion about flexibility.
Being a Champion for Change and partnering with FlexCareers are not the only examples of Westpac NZ’s commitment to effecting change. In September 2016, Westpac NZ was a recipient of a White Camellia Award for promoting gender equality through the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (UNWEP) in recognition of its work in promoting women in leadership positions within the company.
If you are based in New Zealand and would like to share your story, please contact [email protected] . We are always keen to hear from organisations and individuals that would like to share their efforts to achieve diversity, and experiences of flexible working.