The role of flexible working in creating inclusive workplaces

Flexpo’s partner BAME Recruitment & Diversifying were created to disrupt traditional working models that purposefully exclude employees who don’t fit a certain mould. Here, they tell us about what drives their mission to make the workplace a fairer place to be:

“We talk a lot about diverse and inclusive recruitment here, but employee retention is just as important to us – matching exceptional candidates to organisations that will value and support them.

The 9-5 working model is halfway out the door, and the pandemic may have just pushed it over the edge. Clinging to its familiarity is not the answer now. Flexible working policies are becoming the new norm and we welcome it into the mainstream.

Our Head of Talent Operations, Caroline talks about her experience of being a mother working part-time and the resistance to flexible working she had previously encountered.

“I was contacted numerous times by agencies who never called again when I said I wanted to work part-time, spoke to old colleagues who only had full-time opportunities and applied for a copious amount of jobs that I never got a response to.”

In 2017, BAME Recruitment spoke with Caroline. When we heard “part-time” and “remote working”, we didn’t put a red flag up as so many businesses do. Our founder and CEO, Cynthia is a proud working mother who started BAME Recruitment in a café, with baby in tow.

We embraced flexible working patterns from our conception with the view to creating a work environment in which each unique employee is valued and accommodated.

For Caroline, this was a very welcome change of pace.

“My part-time hours have never been an issue because the company is forward thinking, committed to diversity and cares about their employees’ needs, wellbeing, motivations and fully embraces agile working patterns.

I am completely comfortable when I need to make any requests around changing my weekly work pattern, leave early, or even have a need to work from home if I have a sick child.”

Back then, we were the exception to the norm. Now, we’re seeing more and more of the clients we work with actively promoting job shares, flexible working patterns and an all-round greater appreciation of the work-life balance in their organisations.

There are business advantages to offering flexibility too; not only via an increase in job satisfaction, but research shows that flexible workers demonstrate a stronger commitment to their work and are more likely to increase discretionary effort.

Flexible working puts people first – an approach we continue to champion within our own company, and the organisations we work with. This is an important step in our mission of driving equality, inclusion and authenticity at work.”

BAME RECRUITMENT & DIVERSIFYING.IO are a Diversity and Inclusion Services organisation founded to move the needle faster in driving fairer workplaces and opportunities.

As social change agents, they’re on a mission to disrupt outdated employment practices and create equal opportunities for EVERYONE, working with candidates from ALL under-represented communities and matching them with authentic and inclusive organisations.  

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