Diversity and inclusion, to many people, means a focus on gender, sexuality, race. Where diversity and inclusion really touches me, is in the form of being a working mum and how well Siemens caters for my work/life balance and making me feel like an included, valued employee.
My small person is 4 years old (4.5 I should say, as the half is very important you know!) and has just started school, so I have recently changed my working pattern to fit in with her new school routine. I’m still the doing same amount of hours, but have just adjusted what hours I work on each day. “What you have just changed your hours, just like that”? “Your company actually allows you to do that?” people have said to me. Well the answer is yes and yes again! Flexy huh?!
I always hoped having a fulfilling career wouldn’t have to be to the detriment of my child. And with Siemens it doesn’t. When I came back to work after maternity leave, my request to work flexibly was met without issue. So, for several years now, I have had the means to balance a great career with commitments outside of work. I’m trusted to decided when, where and how I work. And being equipped with all the necessary tools to work flexibly, I can be sitting in Costa Coffee and still produce awesome comms! (disclaimer: other coffee shops are available!) Being out of sight, doesn’t mean you aren’t delivering. The days I work from home are often when I achieve the most and it also means I get to the school pick up which is a win-win. The culture here at Siemens means I have an arrangement that works for both me and the needs of the business.
Let’s be honest, flexible working is a term very much associated with being a parent, and most often being a mum. However, life is juggling act whether you are a mum, dad, carer for the elderly/disabled, or someone who just needs a Friday afternoon off to catch up on life admin (paperwork, shopping, cleaning etc), so the ability to work flexibly is about getting the best out of each person. Skills and salaries aren’t the same across the board and how you work shouldn’t be either.
I am a big advocate of working flexibly, and I am pleased to be part of team and a company that has flex appeal – understanding my situation, appreciating my needs and respecting my decisions. Siemens is doing some great work to create a more diverse and inclusive working environment, through schemes such as Return to Work and Employee-led Flexibility. I truly believe that I am happier and more productive by having the opportunity to work flexibly and long may that continue.