Women in Financial Services Blog

Flexible financial senior roles are the key to unlocking our workforces hidden talent

Flexible financial senior roles are the key to unlocking our workforces hidden talent

Tina.Freed / 24 Aug 2015

Traditionally, flexibility, finance and seniority rarely go hand in hand, but the world of work is changing as companies begin to see the value in non-traditional roles.

We are in the midst of a model shift in working practices: over a quarter of the UK’s total workforce is now employed part-time. Financial companies of all sizes are starting to embrace new ways of doing business, moving away from presenteeism and focusing instead on whether employees are achieving results.

Typically, this cultural shift becomes more complicated when it comes to senior positions in the finance industry. One of the many side effects of this is the so-called “mummy track” where mothers end up working part-time in jobs that are well below their skill level. The result is a loss of talent both for employers and the economy, which in turn contributes to the inconsistency that we see between average male and female earnings.

So how can we get past this? First, it’s important to remember that there is a great deal of demand from financial companies looking for experienced and talented people but on a flexible or part time basis.

This includes Investment banks, asset management, fin tech and security services who are all looking for highly capable employees to help with their company’s strategy, network and impact. There is also significant demand from large corporate financial services who have flexible roles to fit in with recurring surges who see job shares and flexible working as a way to dip into a hidden pool of talent that their competitors have missed.

Research has discovered the most hidden pool of talent is made up of professional women who have had great careers and who still have the experience, network, skill and resilience to embrace a highly stimulating job, but who also now want to raise their children.

A great example of a company reaping the benefits of offering more flexible senior positions is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which recently won Santander’s “best new flexible working initiative”. Despite being perceived as a conservative organisation, the Foreign Office has met the challenges of modern British families deployed all over the world, offering remote and part-time working, compressed hours and job shares.

This extends to the most senior roles, including that of British ambassador. Just a few weeks ago, for example, Sharon and Chris Campbell finished a four-year posting as British ambassador to Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where the couple jointly shared the responsibility.

While a job share ambassador may seem highly unconventional, the pair showed that working flexibly at a senior level is not only possible, but also has a number of advantages. A shared role offers access to two brains, two sets of skills and experience and double the energy: all valuable assets for a 24-7 representational role.

So if you’re looking for a more flexible financial senior position, look at E2W’s website don’t be afraid to ask and to try new things. As with any change, it takes a little while to adjust, however, with the right advice and support, you can be confident that flexible working with E2W will fit into your family routine.

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