“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
This #IWD, we thought we would look at the history of job sharing, reflecting how far we’ve come, how far we’ve left to go and to acknowledge some of the inspiring job share partnerships around today and their employers.
At Ginibee®, we are often asked why an employer should consider a job share – from employee retention to increasing the size of your talent pool, improved productivity and tackling the gender pay gap, there’s a multitude of reasons to rattle off at breakneck speed. Cultural and structural challenges are however the ones preventing employers from dipping their toe into the water (which is how the bigger talent pool disguises itself).
Since the 1940s, job sharing has been used in roles in the UK, although it would be true to say that "twinning" as it was originally known remained relatively unknown. Back in the day, it was mainly Local Authorities and schools who attempted the concept. With a spate of laws passed, awarding women equal pay for equal work (1970) and then maternity rights for women (1975), the work landscape began to shift in response. In the late 1980s job sharing was pushed in the private sector by ambitious career women who wanted to progress their career and enjoy family life. In teaching, keen to encourage more women to return, Education Secretary Kenneth Baker too supported job sharing.
Fast forward a decade, the right to request flexible working was introduced by Labour in 1997. More recently, yet another spate of laws have been passed in the last five years, with the right to request to work flexibly extended to all employees, not just parents (2014), the right to shared parental leave (2015), compulsory gender pay gap reporting (2018) and then in January 2019, the government announce intention to make Job sharing more accessible for teachers. Not to be outdone, Labour has promised to push for right to work flexibly in all roles from day one, should it gain power.
Mandatory gender pay gap reporting has helped raised awareness of the talent bottleneck that exists, largely due to the work-life trade off that needs to take place in order to secure your place in the board room. Here are some of the awesome people who are job sharing and challenging the way we work. Hats offs and big respect their way.
Sara is the founder and CEO of Ginibee and a proud mum of two legends. Absolutely passionate about making successful Job sharing accessible, Sara set Ginibee up with the sole mission of "making successful Job sharing accessible" and has specialised in optimising and similifying the process to create successful Job shares since 2013 and in doing so has created a unique into a purpose-built platform, to accelerate the creation of Talent Partnerships.
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