Media Parents

media parents 1st flexible working meeting notes 7

November 5, 2010 @ 1:46 am Posted in Events, News Comments held a flexible working meeting attended by some of the employers and freelancers in media who support flexible working – a list of them can be found on this blog. Herefollows part 7 of a series of articles summarising comment from that evening.  Media Parents will be announcing another flexible working meeting very soon.

Helen Matthews, Director of HR at Tiger Aspect (centre) and Naomi Carter, Director of Production at Mentorn (left)

Helen Mathews HR Director, Tiger Aspect

Helen works part-time, 5 “short” days, “it’s all about partnership with people.”

Helen agreed “it is a good idea to come as a package, or come with a solution. It’s much easier for an HR person to sell to their bosses.” Helen asked the floor – if you take on a job sharer, a problem can come when a one wants to leave. Where does the responsibility lie then?

Audience reaction to this: Some said employer, some said employee.

Chi Ukairo speaks about her experiences of working flexibly as a PD

Chi Ukairo Freelance PD and flexible worker

Chi said she has worked p/t 4 days a week as a P/D, then as a Director for 3 days a week.  She would make sure her team knew where she was, and be available on the days she wasn’t in the office. “We’ve all got technology now, staff can always get in touch.”

Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams Diversity Advisor, PACT

“The fact is, it is not a prevalent practise in television. Tonight has mostly been discussion about staff jobs, which are easier to make flexible. For freelancers it is hard, and also it’s tough for small Indies.”

Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams (centre) Diversity Advisor, PACT with Jo Dolman, Head of HR talkbackTHAMES (right)

Of the 200 companies Joyce has approached, only 5/6 offers flexible working, and 10 more would be interested in looking into flexible working.  For big Indies, it is a lot easier, and some people who do work flexibly end up squashing 5 days into 4.  But, it’s more than a two way street, it’s a three way street. It’s employer, employee and the Broadcaster. The Broadcaster puts pressure and requirements on the production company that can make it difficult to look flexibly at ways of employing.

Karl Burnett Director of HR, BBC Vision

Karl Burnett, Director of HR, BBC Vision

The vast majority of flexible working doesn’t cost any more, and everyone works within their constraints. For the individual and the employer, the demands on the broadcasters can be unreal.

Tessa, BBC Vision We need to start a track record of which companies are doing it.  If you do work flexibly, don’t feel guilty. If you can’t make a meeting, you’re not letting everyone down! asks employers to indicate how they work flexibly, or what roles they might consider to work flexibly.  Helen Veale, Joint MD at Outline Productions speaks elsewhere on this blog about Outline’s flexible working strategy.

Naomi Carter Director of Production, Mentorn

“Flexible jobs can work! You can have part-time Production Managers and part-time PDs.  Media Parents is a great idea and will really help this to get off the ground.” Naomi had just given a job to a woman who is working part-time on a long-running obs doc series.

Amanda Rice, BBC Head of Diversity speaks out

Joyce –PACT

The will of the companies is there, but it is difficult to make it happen.

Rachel – The Bill

TV has been left behind, in other Arts jobs, it is common to share a role.

Read on for BBC Head of Diversity Amanda Rice’s response…

by Amy Walker

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