When I think of Balance for Better, the image that springs to mind is my home life
Mark.Freed / 08 Mar 2019
This week Charlie Fox, Outsourcing Manager at E2W, shares his thoughts on International Women's Day theme #balanceforbetter.
When I think of Balance for Better, the image that springs to mind is my home life when I was growing up: my mother is Tina Freed and my step-dad is Mark. They founded E2W 20 years ago, initially to support and help women continue their financial services' careers by offering them flexible and agile work in a location close to their homes. From an early age, I recognised that my mum and step-dad assumed equal roles in parenting, as, unbeknownst to me, they also did at work.
My step-dad wasn't what I would call a "Sports' Day Dad" - the father that shows up for the good bits - he was around a lot more and took on many of the roles that you might associate with a mother - he did school drop-off and pick-up for example. By doing these jobs, he helped my mum pursue her career allowing her to stand on an equal footing with him both financially and professionally.
I joined the business a couple of years ago to help deliver a project for the London Stock Exchange. I have worked with some extraordinary people during that time and been part of team much valued by our clients. I am enjoying being part of what Mum and Mark established, utilising the talents and skills of extraordinary people and helping them maintain their careers.
When my step-dad was parenting, he may not have had great role models in society when it came to sharing the burden of running a family and house. He created his own path to sharing 'life' which I admire and that's encouraged me to think about how I would be a partner to a working mother. I would want to support her to fulfil her career aspirations and to succeed but I think for that to happen, society has to let fathers be fathers too. Men and women should be treated equally in the workplace with equal access to flexible working packages - why can't men leave early to pick-up children? Why can't it be 'normal' for men to take time away from the desk to take their child to the dentist?
One of the missing pieces of the equality jigsaw is in fact equality - equality for all.
So, I do have a strong sense of what balance between the sexes is, but I think there is still a way to go. Balance for Better certainly rings true for me.
Charlie Fox E2W
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