Flexible Work – more than just an issue of being family friendly

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  • Q Why is flexible working so often seen as a female issue?
    A Because it is a female issue.
    As to a 60 hour week- oh, how I wish!
    My children are grown up, but I cannot tell you how many times over the years have I sat in meetings where a male colleague played the 'daddy card (ie he had to be at parents night/ his son's birthday party/ sports day)', when I didn't dare to do the same thing and nothing whatsoever in my private life was perceived as sacrosanct.
    On the odd occasion when I had to leave to deal with a serious issue (and I was a single parent with no family in this country), there was no sympathy whatsoever. Even when my mother was dying I practically had to beg to get away. Luckily, she died at the weekend.
    There is a double standard and there has always been, and it is getting worse and worse- with no thanks to the increased use of technology and the 24x7 global workplace.
    There is increased flexibility but it is one way- the employee is expected to be always available. Add that to the fact that female lawyers are apparently coupled with men who do not assume primary childcare responsibilities and it is hardly surprising that there are serious issues.
    Calling a 'Parenting week' will change nothing.

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