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Family friendly careers
Workplace success often means working together to find the right balance.
Remarkable Careers, Remarkable Parents
Discover how our diverse workforce is finding their balance with Shell
Starting the conversation about working part-time – Joyce Loh
As an Organisational Effectiveness advisor, Joyce Loh understands what’s needed to create an efficient workflow to deliver exceptional results. She used her knowledge and experience to open the conversation with her team and create a part-time position for herself, enabling her to spend Fridays at home with her family. By managing her boundaries well and maintaining her commitment to her family and career, Joyce has been able to improve the Organisational Effectiveness of her team by empowering them to run without her. The fact that her team nominated her for a Work-life Balance Award is a good indication that the setup is effective for all involved.
“My absence from work one day a week forces me to build Organisational Effectiveness capability with my colleagues”
Part-time VP, full-time excellence – Maggie van’t Hoff
Maggie van’t Hoff is part of a growing group of current professionals working part-time while climbing the corporate ladder. After the birth of her third child, Maggie requested a reduced work schedule to have more time with her family. That was in 2009, and since then she’s been promoted twice while maintaining a four-day work week. Today, she leads Shell Retail’s IT strategy, delivery, and operations, overseeing more than 45,000 retail locations across 80 countries. Maggie credits her success to her ability to effectively prioritise and set clear boundaries.
“Part of getting a promotion is about delivering on what you say you’re going to deliver. You need to show you’re capable and have the capacity, regardless of the amount of hours you work per week”
Breaking stereotypes – Jason Lind
Jason Lind was one of the first parents at Shell to qualify for Shared Parental Leave. This gave his family the flexibility to take time off to help each other, without overwhelming financial stress. Today’s fathers, understand this is an opportunity to break the gender stereotypes and show their children – boys and girls – that people are equal.
“If I didn’t have the option to have the time off, the joys and responsibilities of having a newborn would have fallen to my wife, and I would have had limited involvement in this special time.”
Sharing responsibilities across borders – Maroesja Boorsma
Working in a job-sharing role takes smart technology and a creative approach. Maroesja and colleague Catherine work within the same category, but in different countries; one in London, the other in The Netherlands. The two created a shared role that includes the flexibility to choose when and where they complete their work, enabling them to enjoy a fulfilling work experience while maintaining balance in their lives at home.
“Being able to work part-time and flexibly makes me feel very fortunate. For me, it creates the perfect balance between having a fulfilling and rewarding role in Shell Tax and being able to spend enough time with my four young children.”
Defining priorities – Roger Hunter
After the arrival of his second child, Roger Hunter opted for a four-day week to spend more time with his growing family. Initially he tried to squeeze in five days of work into four, but soon realized that wasn’t the solution. The two years spent working part-time enabled Roger to become more effective at time-management within his current role as GM for Alternative Energy and Fuel Development Strategy; today he’s working a fulltime schedule, with the flexibility to take his children to school and pick them up a few times a week.
“I learned to prioritise, to say ‘no’ more often, and introduce more order and structure into my workflow.”
A career and a family – Krista van Oudheusden
Many of today’s working mums worry their career will plateau because they chose to have a family. This was a concern for Krista van Oudheusden, until she found that her role included a good amount of remote work in the UK, Netherlands, India and Singapore. On top of the virtual approach, she found her team to be open to flexible approaches to managing projects. Time management is the secret to her success, enabling her to achieve the project requirements and still go home at 17:00 to be with her children.
“Flexibility is not just about enabling women. Having all kinds of people in the mix, with their different experiences and views, means better decision making overall”
Shared responsibilities – Bernd van den Brekel
Raising a family is about compromise, not sacrifice, and to support his wife’s decision to continue her career, Bernd van den Brekel worked part time on his role in Research and Development at Shell. The two shared the responsibility of raising their three children, and Bernd was able to maintain the deliverables required for his role by spreading 90% of his job over a four-day work week. His ability to effectively maintain a healthy work/life balance didn’t prevent him from being promoted to a new role of Learning Manager for Wells.
“Most managers are quite supportive and willing to find solutions that benefit the employee and the company”
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