Vertical job-sharing enhances flexibility and offers opportunities for staff to upskill into senior roles.
The Division of Equity Diversity and Inclusion welcomes Professor Leisa Sargent as the newly appointed co-Deputy Vice-Chancellor EDI as part of the vertical job-share trial. This innovative concept was developed by Professor Rosalind (Ros) Dixon, co-lead of the Grand Challenge on Inequality, with the assistance of Grand Challenge student interns Jessie Zhang and Rose Vassel.
Vertical job-sharing (VJS) differs from traditional job-share arrangements where two staff in the same position equally share responsibilities on a part-time basis. VJS offers staff from one or two levels below the opportunity to gain senior leadership experience and genuinely upskill, while responsibilities are split in a more flexible way, e.g. 80:20, 60:40 etc.
“I am excited to understand how job-sharing can be redesigned to work at the most senior levels – and in a broad range of contexts. Flexibility can increase diversity, inclusion and support effective succession planning,” said Ros.
In her role as co-DVC EDI, Leisa will be responsible for specific EDI projects one day a week, maintaining her responsibilities as Senior Deputy Dean in the Business School for the remainder of the week. This opportunity will provide Leisa with practical experience in a senior leadership role and bring more diverse thinking and new perspectives to the division.
“It gives me a window into a more senior role and enables me to encourage other women, both professional and academic, to say ‘yes’ to more senior career opportunities in the future,” Leisa said.
In addition to the co-DVC EDI VJS, Warwick Dawson, Director, Knowledge Exchange for the Division of Enterprise, is also one of the first to trial the vertical job-share approach with colleague John Arneil.
“This trial is an exciting opportunity to test the equity, succession and flexible aspects of vertical job-sharing and, should it work well, will provide UNSW and other workplaces with a rich array of job-sharing approaches,” said Eileen.
This innovative concept challenges assumptions around flexible working and the types of positions that can have a shared-working arrangement, especially senior-leaderships roles. VJS does not replace traditional job-share arrangements but offers another option to flexible work arrangements, with a specific focus on senior leadership opportunities.
“I could not be more grateful to UNSW, the Division of Equity Diversity and Inclusion, and the Division of Enterprise for lending its support to this trial,” Ros said.
The vertical job-share trial will end in December 2019.