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Family Friendly Working Scotland champions senior job-share role

Nikki and Lisa

Family Friendly Working Scotland (FFWS) – the hub organisation for flexible and family friendly working in Scotland – is living its mission by enabling its most senior role to be carried out on a job share basis.

The job share sees two successful, committed, hard-working women with complimentary skill sets and can-do attitudes working together on distinct areas of responsibility. Two people with young children, seeking a creative way to combine parenthood with a senior leadership role.

The job share will be carried out by Nikki Slowey, existing Programme Director, and Lisa Gallagher, Employer Liaison.

Nikki and Lisa (or ‘NiLi’ as their colleagues now affectionately refer to them), have worked closely with each other at Family Friendly Working Scotland for the past 10 months. In this time, they have established a strong and positive working relationship while delivering an increased engagement by employers of FFWS products and services.

Both Nikki and Lisa have substantial experience running teams and organisations and are delighted that they are able to combine a senior role which represents their experience and skillset, with caring for their young families. They have exciting plans for the growth of Family Friendly Working Scotland and believe that the time is right in Scotland to be encouraging a new working culture which improves the lives of working families, while building economic success. They can see no better way of achieving this, than working and leading flexibly themselves. They will be working 3.5 days and 3 days respectively.

Speaking about the appointment, Nikki said: ‘I had previously been working three days’ a week as FFWS Programme Co-ordinator. But when I was promoted to Director, my hours increased. I love my job and seeing the progress we are making with employers in Scotland around the issues of flexible and family friendly working. However, I was also aware that I was spending less time with my three young boys and I felt that my own work-life balance needed addressing. Then, along came Lisa; we work extremely well together and I have enjoyed bouncing ideas off each another and seeing the progress of our joint-working approach. I realised that a job share would be a win-win for everyone and I am delighted that we will be working together more formally now.’

Lisa added: ‘I am incredibly excited about this new arrangement. Not only does our approach and style work incredibly well together, but we now offer a real, live case study to other employers about how senior job share opportunities can benefit both organisations and families. Job sharing is a creative way of retaining talent in the workforce and we appreciate the backing and support from our board. We all know the statistics which show that women in particular tend to be ushered into lesser paid, less senior positions after they have children as these are the roles that tend to offer greater flexibility. However, business needs to retain good people and expertise, and children need their family, so for our situation, a job share works really well. I feel passionately that both women and men – regardless of their family and personal circumstances- should have the opportunity to balance their professional and family life in a way that works for them and the organisations they work for.’

Sarah Jackson, OBE, CEO of Working Families and Chair of the Family Friendly Working Scotland Steering Group, said of the appointment: ‘We are delighted to support Nikki and Lisa in their joint position of Programme Director of Family Friendly Working Scotland. It is a tried and tested model for Working Families and our current heads of Policy and Communications work on a job-share basis which works very effectively. We see that for Programme Director role in Scotland, a job-share approach will also work extremely well and we look forward to seeing the organisation growing from strength to strength under their leadership.’

Nikki and Lisa are one of a growing number of senior job-share arrangements across the UK, including The Guardian’s political editors, the Heads of External Affairs at Age UK and the HR Directors at Lloyds Banking Group.

About Family Friendly Working Scotland (FFWS)

FFWS works with employers, government, families and others to promote a flexible and family friendly working culture. This is a way of working which delivers business success and enables working families to have a good balance between work and family life.

Spanning boundaries between private, public and third sectors, we offer practical support to employers and share best practice. We also raise awareness of the issues and benefits around work life balance and flexible, family friendly working.

Acting as nucleus, FFWS promotes innovative and sustainable ways of working that are good for families and the Scottish economy.

FFWS has a Steering Group, consisting of: Working Families, Fathers’ Network Scotland, Parenting across Scotland and The Scottish Government which is also a core supporter.

Flexible Recruitment

46% of the UK population want to work flexibly, yet only 6% of jobs are advertised as flexible (Timewise, 2015). Reap the benefits of flexible recruitment and join the growing number of employers who recruit and manage employees flexibly. You can download the free Family Friendly Working Scotland Happy to Talk Flexible Working’ logo and strapline here.

You can view other senior UK job-share arrangements on the Timewise ‘Part Time Power List 2017’.

To contact Nikki or Lisa, please email:

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