Page 24 - Australian Defence Magazine Aug 2019
P. 24

“With finalists from every service, APS, primes, SMEs and veteran-driven not for profit organisations, the field of contenders was a stellar line up of talented individuals.”
frankly I was sleep deprived, in deep shock, couldn’t multitask, and was struggling to adjust to the grief and responsibility that were now a part of life.
“To help me adjust back to the work- ing world I was offered a few hours a week of work that I could do with my eyes shut, which was great because in hindsight there was probably nothing going on behind my eyes at the time.
“Over the last nine years I have been truly fortunate that both companies I have worked with, have worked collaboratively with me to shape a role that works for both parties. Things like being able to work re- motely with a laptop and a mobile phone, be- ing able use tools such as Skype have helped. Being given the option of suggesting times for meetings around sleep routines, being able to work whenever I liked, which some- times involved working from 8pm until 2am, or weekends when life was a little quieter, be- ing able to plan well in advance when inter- state travel was required helped so alternative care plans could be made, as did allowing me to make day trips interstate where possible.
LEFT: Jane Hunter was on some well earned leave, with a colleague accepting her award.
ABOVE: MC Tracy Spicer in action.
BELOW: Special Commendation for Project Management LCDR
Errika Meades makes
her acceptance remarks.
value of flexible working environments, and went on to explain how flexible conditions can benefit both the individual and the business.
“Many organisations are wary of taking on part time workers or workers that re- quire flexibility in work location,” Megan reflected. “The easy solution is to opt for the person that is available 40 hours a week across five days a week or the person who can fly interstate at the drop of a hat. This only suits a limited pool of people, so by imposing these conditions we are depriving ourselves of the full range of talent we need to deliver important outcomes for the ADF.
“Sometimes it might be better to consider a consultant who can work part time, because I know consultants who due to their many years of knowledge and efficiency can do work in three days that others can take five days to do.
“Out of sight doesn’t always mean that people aren’t working,” Megan said, com- menting on the culture of presenteeism which seems deeply rooted in Defence.
Flexible work practices are not just for women; they benefit the entire workforce in finding their own individual balance point for professional and personal pursuits.
ADM would like to acknowledge the gener- ous support of our sponsors of SYPAQ, Airbus, Naval Group, ASC, Boeing, Broadspectrum, Leidos and QinetiQ in bringing the Women in Defence Awards program together.
Flexibility is a two way street
“I have a long list of ideas on how flexibil- ity has assisted me, but it is a two-way street and there needs to be a mutual exchange of support,” Megan explained. “Sometimes that means taking phone calls on days off, or more to the point hiding in the bath- room to take that call while the Wiggles
are on. Having understanding colleagues and clients around that understood that those circumstances were my reality with no judgement was important.
“Because of workplace flexibility and fam- ily friendly policies I’ve been able to contin- ue to grow a career over the last nine years. If flexible arrangements had not been there, I would not have been able to utilise earlier education and career experience to provide a professional income to support my family.
“I won’t need flexible work practices for- ever, but I appreciate not having to start again at the beginning of my career because I had to take time out from the world of work. And I certainly appreciate not being nine years behind where I could have oth- erwise been and being able to access career progression, professional development and promotion during that period of part time work has been critical.”
Her experience clearly demonstrates the
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