I'm a regional head of HR for a smallish international investment bank HQ'd in a timezone 4 hours ahead of London. My job is full on but I can make it work with my family commitments (I have a 2.5 year old dd) because I enjoy my job and want to be successful. It takes adjustment on both sides. I do my calls with Asia and NY before and after work from home and have all the technology available I need to be able to provide consistent service. I live just outside London but I use a nursery near Ldn Bridge (easy to pick up from and get home) so I don't have to leave the office too early (by 6pm) - I'm noticing more mums and dads commuting with their children by the way - My partner also works FT but works different hours from me as a different sector so we can share the picking up and dropping off. The really tricky bit is when I have to travel overseas (every 2-3m) - there's often a lot of last minute date changes which is really annoying and I am completely reliant upon my parents and MiL to cover during the evenings (neither live near me). It's a choice I've made - it seems that Mum's want to see their children more than Dad's though which I just find weird unless it's hardwired?
Can flexible working really work at a senior level (or even at a junior one)? Are family friendly policies just window dressing and box ticking or can they, with sufficient training, deliver a better, more profitable business model? Or are the legal and financial services just not capable of adapting to suit the needs and desires of modern parents. We'll be discussing this interesting conundrum with a group of diversity managers in the city on the 9th February and we'd love to go armed with your thoughts?