“I can see this being great for moms returning back to work” says almost every leader we talk to about Roleshare. “Yes, it is,” we always say, “and let me show you something that might surprise you.” Are you curious? Let’s go.
When a company offers job share benefits, like any employee benefit, anyone could potentially “apply” for it. Now, does that mean every employee will suddenly go from full time to job share? No. Not yet at least. Let’s stay realistic and say it’s 1% of a company’s employee base who will role share. That’s 1% of employees who would have almost certainly churned, burnt out, underperformed, or never applied. And who are these existing or prospective employees? Keep reading.
Part-time availability with full-time ambition.
“When I needed Roleshare it didn’t exist,” says Sophie Smallwood, co-Founder of Roleshare – a platform helping companies retain employees who want part-time, by matching them to share full-time jobs together, or with freelancers, part-timers, or fractional workers. Smallwood was an executive working at an enviable tech company. When she became a parent for the first time, she explored ways to make it all work – career and parenting. Word on the street was part-time was seen as a burden on the rest of the team, and “there were no part time jobs that really suited my level of experience and aspirations. I wanted part-time with full-time ambitions,” says Smallwood.
Smallwood, a working mom, decided to grab the bull by the horns and normalize job sharing for many others.
1. The Caregiver
No big surprise, right? But, there still isn’t enough being done to support working parents and carers. According to US Census Bureau, 1 in 4 working parents is suffering from burnout. “Burnout is continuing to drive millions of parents to leave their jobs, and it’s disproportionately impacting mothers of color and young parents.” Companies who clock this and offer “special and unique benefits” are 2X more likely to retain working parents. Shelagh Collett and Jemma Yorke share the role of Business Support Manager at Lloyds, a leading UK Bank. After Jemma experienced barriers with progression when working part-time after her second child, she identified job sharing as a way forward. Being able to roles share, Collett says, “has enabled me to protect my very precious working pattern, which helps me to positively balance the juggles at home versus work, and also have the confidence to know I can still be successful in more stretching and challenging roles that need full time commitment.”
Nearly half of working carers have given up work at some point to care for older or disabled loved ones.
- Employers for Carers
In the UK, Employers for Carers, suggest “1 in 7 in the workforce will be caring for someone who is older, disabled or seriously ill.” Nearly half of working carers have given up work at some point to care for older or disabled loved ones. Roleshare provides them the space they need to balance careers and caring, while helping employers gain 30% productivity gain – yes, it’s actually a benefit for companies too. Céline Barral and Hervé Chastel shared various finance leadership roles at HP over the course of 10 years. With role share, Chastel says, “I was also able to better help my father in taking care of my mother who was very ill at the time. At work my energy and focus were always at the highest levels, thanks to the balance I had in my life overall.”
2. The Learner
Roleshare conducted interviews from members of their community, and a growing number of them, both men and women, identify as “working learners.”
76% of students 30-54 years old also work full-time, and 61% have children. - Georgetown University
Mara Larson-Richard is an MBA student at INSEAD and co-CEO of Ada’s List, a community moving women in tech forward. She said, “I am looking for a better way to balance my career with the demands of the program. In the past, I’ve overloaded myself with commitments and that not only made me worse at delivering on all those commitments, it made me unhealthy and unhappy.” According to a Georgetown University study, 76% of students 30-54 years old also work full-time, and 61% have children. Roleshare is an ideal solution for working learners to handle two or three big commitments.
3. The Freelancer & Creator
Freelancers and creators are also joining Roleshare as an alternative to the full-on freelance or independent worker life. Rachel, a Roleshare community member said, “With freelance you're never fully in the fold. You’ve got to really dig to get information you need to be successful. Being able to share the workload and have access to all the info and benefits of a full-time job is interesting.”
Dependable senior roles, on a part-time basis, with a sense of belonging and all the benefits being a full-time employee.
According to LinkedIn, some of the biggest challenges for freelancers include finding clients, developing online presence, and consistency. With Roleshare, freelancers are seeing an opportunity to take on steady and dependable (senior) roles, on a part-time basis, with a sense of belonging and all the bells and whistles of full-time, while still choosing to freelance or create. It’s estimated that by 2027 50% of the workforce will be freelancers. Roleshare presents a unique opportunity to fill the increasing gap between full time needs and employee expectations for flex.
4. The Portfolioist
It’s worth defining this term. A career portfolioist is a professional involved in multiple businesses on a part-time basis. It could be a part-time job at a big corporate on one side, with a non-executive role or PAYE advisory work on the other, for example. Nichola Johnson-Marshall, a PR leader with experience working at eBay and LinkedIn, was working part-time at Open Banking, while also launching her coaching consultancy, Working Wonder. When Open Banking approached her to discuss scaling up to full-time, she suggested role share. Using Roleshare’s resources and guides, and the support of the leadership team at Open Banking, Nichola successfully turned her part-time role into a Roleshare. The company managed to retain Johnson-Marshall and attracted Sherelle Folkes, an experienced journalist and single working mom, into the business – gaining all the benefits that role sharing provides.
The full-time job is losing steam.
Mark, a Roleshare community member, left an executive role at a large retailer to work on a startup. “I've gone from a structured 17-year corporate career to creating my own work and working at the pace of a small team. I'm not time poor and want to do a job share where I can add value and learn skills,” he says. Roleshare is a way for portfoliosists to remain agile, learn, and diversify their career risks.
“The workforce is increasingly aspiring to have multi-track careers. The full-time job is losing steam,” says Smallwood. Companies are doing everything they can to retain and attract talent. Now, a growing number of companies are offering job share benefits as way to retain and attract diverse pools of talent.
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