Global Diversity
Colloquium 2007: "Creating a Level Playing Field for Women"

Gender Equity across Borders: Winning Strategies for Flex Work
Corbette Doyle


  1. One Woman’s Success While Working a Condensed Week
    1. Focus on results vs. “face time” or hours worked
    2. Top management support:

                                                               i.       Saved me from myself & my own guilt complex

                                                             ii.      Protected me from the naysayers until I had a chance to prove myself

    1. Technology to enable:

                                                               i.      Place flexibility

                                                             ii.      Client responsiveness

    1. Trade-offs:

                                                               i.      Heavy travel in exchange for condensed week

                                                             ii.      Took my daughters & the nanny with me (“knew I was traveling too much when” story)


  1. Issues & Opportunities
    1. The problems with one-off solutions:

                                                               i.      Pipeline: some won’t join the firm, some will leave rather than ask

                                                             ii.      Managers who try to do the right thing but lack the infrastructure & cause as much, or more, harm than refusing flex request

                                                            iii.      Managers who are blind to anything but “face time”

    1. Caveats for making flex work:

                                                               i.      Research shows support of the work team is THE key to success (more important than infrastructure or manager)

                                                             ii.      Individual: share strategy with your team, ask for input, ask for help, offer “pay-back” (e.g. work on projects at home, handle some of the team’s least favorite tasks)

    1. Make it more than a “woman’s thing”:

                                                               i.      Phase boomers into retirement

                                                             ii.      Attract & retain Gen Y’s (who are expected to job hob every 3 years) with combination of flexibility & growth


  1. Aon Corporate Strategy
    1. Link to our new competency model: “Develop Unmatched Teams”
    2. Communicate the Business Case: Attract & Retain talent; competitor strategies
    3. Specify Flex options (time, place, hours, vacation buy-back, gradual RTW, back-up daycare)
    4. Process:

                                                               i.      Self-evaluation worksheet

                                                             ii.      1 page application

                                                            iii.      1 page review

                                                           iv.      Contract


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