Lack of senior women and no flexibility in the work- place to close the gap?

We've experienced this problem first hand.

Experienced Headhunter Romanie Thomas has a decade of helping companies to find outstanding senior staff. But during that decade she saw very little progress on gender diversity at leadership level. Today, less than 10% of business leaders are women. Her vision is to grow this percentage to 50% by 2027.

Q&A with Romanie

Learn more about Juggle with CEO and founder, Romanie Thomas

What made you start JuggleCreated with Sketch.
In my job as a Headhunter I was frustrated by the lack of both female candidates and clients and couldn’t see how companies were going to make a step change towards equality either. It seems obvious to me and there is now compelling data to support this theory, that flexibility in the workplace lies at the heart of the solution to this problem.
Why is flexibility so important to achieving gender equality?Created with Sketch.
Because it democratises the environment and ensures professionals thrive on merit, not because of outdated structural reasons. The professional environment was created predominantly with men from a certain socioeconomic background in mind. Men who had wives at home to manage their personal lives too; so if we want to collectively achieve gender equality we have to rethink the structure and rhythm that better reflects the needs of the modern workforce.
So flexible working is mainly for women?Created with Sketch.

Due to societal, practical and historical reasons, women have a heavier personal/family load and therefore less “give” when it comes to paid work. It is also true that given women have been historically marginalised by traditional businesses who did now allow for flexibility, they will naturally look for flexibility as not only does this meet their needs, it is a strong indicator of progression generally.

I strongly believe however that gender equality can only be achieved if flexible working is available for both men and women. It must become acceptable for ambitious, hard working men to work on their terms too in order for flexible working to become normalised and consequently.

How do you stay true to your mission?Created with Sketch.

In two ways:

  1. We measure how many women we are placing into these exciting flexible roles. Success is between 50-70%. Why? Less than 50% goes against our overall mission and above 70% indicates we aren’t placing enough men which again, goes against our mission!
  2. Only work with flexible businesses and opt against working for those who aren’t. Our promise to professionals is very clear and if we go against that, we are not being true to our mission.
What is flexible working?Created with Sketch.

Historically “flexible working” has been about part time work but we have found it to be broader than that in the professional workforce at mid-senior level:

  1. Part-time: a defined part-time need (often 2-4 days per week)
  2. Full-time with flex: a full time need in a highly flexible and autonomous environment
  3. Portfolio: a defined part-time/consultancy engagement (often 1-4 days per month)
Group 5Created with Sketch.
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