Aneela McKenna.

Equalities Manager, The Scottish Parliament

Aneela McKenna

Aneela has worked at The Scottish Parliament for ten years and in that time has delivered ground breaking initiatives for the Parliament in engaging its Members, staff and Scotland’s communities with its commitment to equality and diversity.

Before that she had a similar role at the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Government and she doesn’t forget her roots starting her career in an anti- racist organisation in the voluntary sector.

In her local area she is secretary to the local disability access panel and a Partner of Go Where Scotland.

How did you become interested in family friendly working?

I grew up in a single parent family, with all sorts of complications in my family life. I know from experience that no one size fits all and to have a fulfilled career, you need your employer to respect the diversity of family life and create the culture which allows you to be your authentic self. I have taken an active role in promoting family friendly working throughout my career to help shape policy that is inclusive and responsive. I hear lots of personal stories in my job and the many challenges of working and family life. This is always a reminder that we need to do more and it’s about doing what we can to support the people who work for us whilst making a positive difference more widely and setting a good example to others.

How does family friendly working and flexibility benefit employers?

It is an absolute necessity that we as employers have excellent family friendly policies in place. I believe that the main thing in providing these policies is that it shows trust and respect and if staff feel more valued, they will perform better at work and be more committed to the overall purpose of the business. In others words, you get more from your staff if you give them what they need rather than sticking to a conventional rule for everyone. The key is to be diverse and creative in setting policies!

What does good work-life balance look like?

Good work life balance is what each and every person wants it to be and for the employer to respect this and allow everyone to be their authentic self at work.

What three words best describe you?

Fun, passionate and creative.