Work, family, diversity

by MaryRose Painter

It's disappointing to see Jacinda Ardern being grilled about her plans for parenthood, less than 24 hours in as the leader of the Labour party. As well as being sexist, inappropriate and intrusive, the question implies Ardern hasn't thought the issue through. As noted at various times by Metiria Turei, Judith Collins, Marama Fox and many others, female MPs work in a tough environment. Sexist lines of questioning discount female MPs' ability to make smart choices about work, career and family, and suggest that women are the only ones making such choices. This just isn't the case.

Families in 2017 come in all shapes and sizes. They are diverse.  As a parent myself, I am delighted to work for Catalyst, a company that encourages diversity by being flexible.

We understand that people have busy lives outside work, whether they're parents or not. We need to be available at particular times for our clients, but it is understood here that life is busy and sometimes messy, and that if something's not working, a little creative tinkering with work arrangements can make a big difference.

So. Catalyst employees work remotely, in the office, early in the morning, during business hours, and late at night. We work full time and part time. Lots of us are parents or guardians of children, which means there are sometimes kids in the office during school holidays, and people working from home when the kids are sick. Plus, children are always welcome at our company drinks, and we work hard to make these gatherings family friendly.

As our Managing Director, Don Christie, says, "We're interested in people's brains." We're convinced that given the right conditions, the smart people we hire make smart choices that help them balance life and work well, and that by giving more choices, we're helping people do their very best work.

Read our diversity policy here.