Insights from the Future of Work & Family Policy Executive Roundtable Melbourne. 29th August 2023.
“The future depends on what you do today.” – Mahatma Gandhi
In a world where work and family life often collide, the Executive Industry Leaders Roundtable on the future of Work and Family in Melbourne held this week brought together a diverse group of change agents, advocates and influencers. With interests spanning work-family policy, ESG and sustainability, social inclusion, gender equity, and health and wellbeing, these conversations aimed to drive collective impact towards a more inclusive family-friendly Australia, that is equipped to compete on a global scale.
Fostering Collective Action for Positive Change
The roundtable served as a powerful call to action, uniting industry experts, thought leaders and social groups.
“This is the first of many Executive Roundtables that will be run around the country to raise awareness and educate employers on the role they can play in driving greater social inclusion, equity, and wellbeing”, highlighted Emma Walsh, CEO and Founder of Family Friendly Workplaces.
By fostering collaboration, this initiative seeks to pave the way for a better adoption of socially responsible workplace policies, by both public and private sector employers, to promote greater diversity and inclusion, work life wellbeing and gender equality outcomes benefiting all Australians.
Unveiling the Wicked Problem
Work-life conflict is a wicked problem that affects the health and wellbeing of every Australian. The ripple effect of this conflict is pervasive, and the detrimental and destructive impact can be felt across our community, our workplaces and our families.
Work life conflict impacts everything from mental and physical health to family wellbeing and children’s development. Karen Oldaker, Senior Executive Wellbeing & Community at Medibank emphasised, “If health is at the core, family has to be considered as well – the intersection of health and family creates a ripple effect.” Acknowledging the depth and breadth of these challenges is the first step toward finding meaningful solutions.
Workplaces as Catalysts for Change
Workplaces play a pivotal role in the rise and fall of work-life conflict. As the roundtable discussed, there’s a growing realisation that workplaces must step up and be part of the solution on a larger scale. With unprecedented opportunities to redefine public social policy, businesses can drive significant changes that benefit employees and society as a whole. For instance, what about larger organisations that champion change assisting smaller organisations with fewer resources?
Family Friendly Workplaces: A Program for All Australians
The Family Friendly Workplaces program, led by Parents At Work and UNICEF Australia and supported by government funding, is a beacon of hope. As Louise Weine, CEO of the National Association of Women in Operations pointed out “Let’s start by eradicating the culture of overwork that leads to family breakdowns, an increase of family violence, and overall family stress”. Family-friendly workplaces support not just women and children, but all Australians. This initiative aims to provide employers with the tools to create inclusive policies that accommodate the diverse needs of their workforce.
Empowering the Workforce of Tomorrow
The roundtable accentuated the vital importance of developing modern inclusive leadership skills. Rana Hussain, from the Champions of Change Coalition, highlighted the need for leaders to evolve their mindsets, especially in fields like sports, where rigid work cultures can exclude individuals. By promoting flexibility, culture, kindness and human dignity, businesses can attract and retain diverse talent, ensuring a sustainable and resilient workforce.
As we move forward, this Executive Industry Leaders Roundtable marks the beginning of a national conversation and journey towards more inclusive family-friendly workplaces. By joining forces nationally, advocating for change, and recognising the interconnectedness of work, family, and wellbeing, we can collectively pave the way for a brighter future for the next generation.
Be a change maker – Join the conversation
To learn more about the National Work and Family Standards and Family Friendly Workplaces, you can follow us on Linked In or reach out to email@example.com