Meet Simone, the woman changing the face of flexible work

“If we say no to parents who want to re-enter their careers, gender parity will remain a distant dream, female role models will be few and far between and women will continue to be absent from boards and in executive positions,” Simone McLaughlin, CEO of Jobs Shared.

We recently had the absolute pleasure of catching up with Simone McLaughlin, founder of a nifty job sharing platform by the name of Job Shared.

Simone also happens to be the winner of Spotcap’s #YesisMore competition, which means we should all refer to her as ‘Australia’s bravest business owner’ from this point forward.

Let me tell you a little about Simone…

These days Simone is an entrepreneur and mum of two, but not too long ago she worked in advertising. After Simone and her husband had their first child, she was ready to return to her advertising career but working full-time was not what she had in mind.

Her former employer was unable to accommodate her in a part-time fashion and Simone struggled to find part-time work in her chosen field somewhere else.

This is not an uncommon phenomenon. In Australia 43 per cent of working women are thought to work part-time over half of these women (25 per cent of total employment) have no job security and work casually.

There is a general consensus among researchers that part-time work is often poor quality and locks women, in particular, out of progressing their earning power and careers – that’s according to a research paper by Baird, Charlesworth and Heron at the University of Sydney.

Jobs Shared was born of Simone’s personal struggle; an experience she shares with many new parents returning to work after maternity or paternity leave. Jobs Shared is not just about helping returning parents find part-time work, but about helping them return to their career.

So how does Jobs Shared work? 

It’s an online platform which facilitates a job sharing arrangement. Job seekers can use the platform to search for their perfect match – ideally someone with similar interests, background and experiences. Employers can also use the platform to post job ads and manage applications. 

It’s a free service! Simone’s goal is to instigate social change and reshape the way job seekers and employers think about returning to work. 

Simone will use her $5,000 cash prize from Spotcap to improve the user experience of her website and continue to grow her business.