future of work

How flexibility saved my career


Valeria IgnatievaMar 12, 2019

If it wasn’t for understanding employers who offered flexible working arrangements, my career would have ended the moment I became a single parent, to a child with special needs. I’ve been lucky to have worked flexibly in different ways for nearly 8 years before co-founding DCC Jobs (now WORK180) in 2015 to help women like me. WORK180 is a unique job site, where employers are pre-screened to ensure they support women’s careers before they can advertise jobs.

I know first-hand how difficult it is to find a suitable job, go through the application process, bring up flexibility only to be told it's not available. Or worse, starting in a role where the company has made it sound like it’s flexible, only to find out that everyone is chained to the desk in a culture of presenteeism. Sadly, this is a problem that’s still prevalent and almost daily we hear similar stories from women in our community.

Did you know that in Australia, less than 50 per cent of the non-public sector offers flexible working options? Finding out who the supportive employers are is the difficult part, and exactly the challenge we’re solving at WORK180.

We display information around what employers offer in terms of paid parental leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements, employee engagement scores plus much more. This information is not publicly listed elsewhere and forms a valuable tool for women to assess their next employer. WORK180 reject around 10% of companies who apply to advertise with us, and we’ve seen incredible changes made internally in the last two years by companies who return and pass the criteria to advertise.

But the work doesn’t stop here. Lots of organisations still have a way to go, and it’s all about raising awareness and sharing stories of other’s success. This is why we created Australia’s inaugural Flexible Working Week, held June 19-23, 2017.

All of this week, I enjoyed updates from our Endorsed Employers for Women and Flexible Working Ambassadors- lots of which have been featured on our digital magazine to celebrate Flexible Working Week.

Some of my favourite stories include:

Maria Zambrano’s story, who joined Cbus in August 2016 on a contract assuming she would not be eligible to work flexibly, and was pleasantly surprised when she realised she was wrong.

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Christiaan Hubbard, who asked her manager at Hubspot if she can relocate to support her partner to pursue his MBA overseas and figured out the most effective way of working remotely.

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Richard Fryer, Culture and Capabilities Manager at Queensland Urban Utilities who shares his story, discussing the common misconceptions of who “should” and “could” ask for flexible work arrangements.

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AECOM’s article about how to deliver great customer care while working flexibly.

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There are many more articles and lots of useful tips in the magazine. Read it here and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #FlexibleWorkingWeek across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Let's continue to celebrate flexible working long after June 19-23!


About the author

Valeria Ignatieva

Co-founder & CEO of WORK180


Work180 is a jobs board with a difference! We pre-screen employers on paid-parent leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements and more. Find your dream job here.


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