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Two heads are better than one: YMCA NSW recognises value of job sharing for working parents

08 Jun 2016 - Media ReleasesStaff

It’s a sad fact that many working mums currently have little choice but to compromise when they return to work, whether that’s by taking part time to jobs beneath their expertise, pressing pause on their career aspirations or accepting roles that pay pennies.

However, two Sydney friends and colleagues have found a way to successfully job-share a senior role in three workplace incarnations, thanks in large part to forward thinking organisations that realise the value of having working mums in their teams.

With five children under the age of 13 between them, Communications Managers Bree Godden and Emma Whale believe they’ve hit their stride and the workplace flexibility jackpot with YMCA NSW, an organisation whose core commitment is to support children and families.

HR General Manager Karen Twitchett was immediately impressed by the team’s initiative in their application, and Emma and Bree were relieved to find that “for once, we didn’t have to explain how a job share role worked”.

“It’s about the right person for the job, or in this case, people,” says Karen. “And daily we see the benefit of two considered viewpoints coming at an issue – it’s like the old saying, two heads are better than one.”

Bree and Emma met in a former workplace, and quickly recognised their complementary strengths, working styles, and desire to maintain a good work-life balance whilst not missing out on opportunities for career progression.  After three years of working together, they began pitching themselves jointly for management positions as job-share roles.

With YMCA NSW, Bree works three days a week, and Emma two.  They both are in the office at least one day a month together, and are in constant communication with each other.

“We want people’s experience of us to be seamless,” explains Emma.  “If someone picks up the phone to call either of us, or meets with us, they should get the same response. Plus if one of us in on holidays, the other can step in to cover the other.”

“We’re really committed to making it work, and everyone here has been so welcoming and accommodating,” says Bree. “We can see and feel the values alignment, and that makes coming to work a pleasure.”

CEO Leisa Hart wants to encourage other leaders and workplaces to consider the merits of flexible work arrangements.

“If flexible work arrangements, such as this job-share can align with one of our values by providing children with more time to be empowered and supported by their parents, then it’s definitely something that I’m going to support and encourage fellow CEOs and people managers to consider,” she said.



Media contact:

Louise O’Donnell

Media and Content Specialist



About the YMCA:


YMCA NSW is a community not-for-profit organisation committed to connecting people to their communities to live healthier and happier lives.

We deliver services in more than 100 locations across NSW including camps, before and after school care, community recreation and sporting facilities, swimming pools and youth services. We also raise funds to deliver much needed community programs.

With a commitment to delivering healthy living programs, empowering young people and making a positive social impact, we strive to ensure that every individual has access to the essentials needed to learn, grow and thrive. With the Y, everyone can be healthier, happier and connected to their community.

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