Letter: Job shares are just as good for top posts

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The Independent Online
Sir: In her Friday columns, Maggie Brown has regularly provided interesting comment on combining career and parenthood. However, her review of The Executive Tart & Other Myths - Media Women Talk Back (2 September) did nothing to progress thinking on flexible work patterns. Her assertion that 'job sharing and flexible working . . . only apply . . . near the bottom and middle of life's power echelons' is simply not true.

Management development and research work at Roffey Park Management Institute has brought us into contact with many successful job-sharers at all levels.

The international arm of the National Health Service - Overseas Enterprises - was set up by two job-sharing chief executives, a man and a woman. One of the world's most successful hotel groups, Accor, which includes the Novotel chain, is headed up by two job-sharing (male) chief executives.

Macro Group, an outstanding distributor of semiconductors, has doubled its size and productivity while offering flexible work to staff at all levels.

Provided job-sharers develop the skills to communicate effectively, an organisation can only benefit from such an arrangement. Surely it is better to have two people working a 30-hour week, than one person 60 hours?

Flexible work patterns can harness the skills of people at every level within an organisation. They can also help to keep the balance between work and home. This is relevant whether you are at the bottom, middle or top of life's 'power echelons'.

Yours faithfully,

VALERIE HAMMOND

Chief Executive

Roffey Park Management

Institute

Horsham, West Sussex

2 September

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