“If we want to achieve true gender equality, then everyone should have the same opportunities to flexible work.”


You could feel that these words came from the heart.

This was one of Puffling co-founder Sarah Parker’s truly powerful assertions from her speech at the LeadUp Melbourne launch event back in July.

The creators of job share platform Puffling saw a big problem in the market and in the way we work – and suffered from it first-hand as working mothers in senior roles.

For women, the trials and tribulations of returning to the workplace after having children are all too common. Sadly, as Puffling co-founders Sarah and Lija know well, this issue is multifaceted and there are various pain points to address.

Lack of diversity, flexibility and empathy mean that businesses often do not have equal representation in terms of gender; offer very few flexible options for those in mid- to high-tier positions; and are reluctant to accommodate the needs of parents, carers and students.


The Reality

  • 1 in 2 women experience discrimination before, during and after maternity leave.
  • 1 in 5 women will be made redundant, have their role changed, or end up resigning because part-time hours are not possible.
  • 5% of CEOs and heads of businesses are female.


In fact, Sarah herself recalls:


“I’d leave the office to get home to do dinner and bath time and then get my laptop out and work until midnight. I’d answer calls on my day off, with my kids hanging off me and crying because mummy was distracted.”


The Solution

“We’ve created a community of experienced women who job share […] so that women can work part time without compromise – to yourself, your family, your employer or your team.”


And, of course, job sharing exists to benefit not only women but everyone, regardless of gender, age, life stage, position, industry, family life or educational situation. This is where flexibility meets diversity for the future:


“Work will be judged not for showing up and measuring clock time at a desk, but rather, the future of work means we will be judged (and employed) for the quality of work as is measured by our ability to execute on our ideas.”


We were lucky enough to have Sarah back for a meaningful chat and a blast of a time on our first LeadUp and Speak Up podcast! Check it out below and get inspired!


About the Author:

Monica is a self-confessed grammar nerd and passionate advocate of diversity, equality, and cultural heritage. Communication is her trade and words and languages are her best tools, allowing her to bring creative flair to any kind of content that she creates.
Read more about Monica Charlton.