I recently read the Deloitte Women @ Work survey
findings and I was floored. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the pandemic has set gender parity efforts back by a generation or more.
I was in the late stages of pregnancy when the pandemic really hit its stride and forced everyone into their homes, and during the ins and outs of lockdown I was in the trenches of early motherhood, night feeds, nappies, and sleep deprivation.
So, I understand I haven’t really experienced the full force of working during a pandemic and the uncertainty that comes with it. From what I have experienced in these last few months since my return, I can only imagine the extra stress this would have caused, and why the support of your workplace is more vital than ever.
Kiandra has always been good to me. I really landed on my feet after Uni and have been able to learn the ropes of my chosen path here, under some impressive HR leaders. We’ve always promoted being a flexible workplace and having been on the other side of the fence writing these policies, I’ve seen the benefits to our culture and engagement, but becoming a mother really opened my eyes to its necessity.
During one of our touch points during my leave, I was explaining to Cam about my experience and how I didn’t think I was ready to return to work by the date we had originally discussed. No problem, I needed an extra month? We can make it work. That month made all the difference to my mindset.
One week into childcare and Leo came down with his first illness, and of course that means he can’t attend childcare until he is well. Here was my first juggling act, sick bubba who would only sleep on me and working from home. I did what I could and there was no uphill battle, I didn’t have to prove or promise anything to anyone. They understood the situation, and it was a relief!
Over the past year we’ve really opened up that meaning of flexible working, our improved benefits offering is so inclusive and I’m so proud to see how far we have come. During the peak stay-at-home orders, Kiandra removed the notions of the core working hours, allowing employees to adjust their hours around their home lives, to accommodate working at home, caring responsibilities, and remote learning. And you don’t have to have a family to be able to access these benefits of flexibility, it’s there for all our employees, for all situations.
In the conclusion of the survey findings, one of their key insights is that ‘success at work is empowered by support for life outside work’ and I think the way we have adapted to working during this past 18 months is really a testament to that. The way we work and live is changing and while it may go back to the way it was pre-pandemic, it doesn’t mean we have to let go of what we have learned from this experience.