We often associate ESG with policies and practices at an organisational, sector, national or even international scale. Indeed we cover such issues in this report – such as ESG in the build-to-rent and industrials sectors, and internationally-tested alternative charging options to support the roll out of electric vehicles.
But ESG can also be considered on a very human scale – such as providing opportunities for different models of working and management practice that are positive steps towards supporting an organisation’s social and governance objectives.
An example of this – and one in which the authors of this foreword have been active participants for over eight years – is job-sharing; full-time roles being carried out by two or more people in a part-time pattern to provide the flexibility and support systems they need to succeed at work.
Job sharing has provided us with the flexibility and time to be present in our home lives, while giving us the in-built ability to lean on each other for support, continuity and mentorship at work. It has also allowed us to be consistently positive and confident in a way we would have struggled to be on our own. As women that were left bruised early on in our careers by the way the industry was insensitive to the challenges of being a working parent, job sharing has enabled us to succeed in a highly competitive environment.
It is not just employees that benefit from job sharing. By embracing job sharing, businesses gain twice the brain power, skills, experiences and knowledge, while also securing continuity for the role. It is also a powerful tool for ensuring retention and cultivation of talent that can otherwise quietly slip away.
Job sharing is just one tool that can help to support a more diverse workforce by providing men and women with a route to senior leadership who might otherwise be considering halting their careers, taking lesser roles, or even stepping back entirely, due to difficulties occupying full time demanding roles.
We hope this, our latest ESG report provides information, ideas and inspiration to organisations to act, whatever the size or nature of your business and whatever point on the ESG journey you are on.
Kathryn Jump & Lisa Tye, Partners and Co-heads of Shoosmiths Planning Practice