Posts

We are so excited to have an amazing line-up of prominent leaders and trailblazers speaking at our 2019 Annual Conference Inspire. Innovate. Ignite! on Thursday, November 7 in Washington, DC.  We will be introducing these dynamic and engaging speakers during the next couple of months here on our blog. We asked our speakers to answer a few questions about themselves, their approach to their career, and their lives.

 

This week’s “Getting To Know Our Conference Speakers” post highlights Jennifer Flynn, Managing Vice President & Head of Small Business Bank at Capital One.

A true champion of diversity and flexibility, Jenn will share her insights on a panel with other leaders.

 

Diversity & Flexibility Alliance: What was the most meaningful piece of leadership advice you have received? 

Jenn Flynn: Set your priorities; make your decisions around those priorities; and, if you don’t like the consequences of those decisions, make another choice. This advice has served me well over the years and has also helped me remove guilt from my vocabulary! When you are confident in your priorities, everything else falls into place.

Through this journey, I also learned the power of using my voice and encouraging others to use their voice. Sharing my priorities with others really helped me find the “and” – the flexibility I need to make things work for both my family and my organization. Don’t underestimate the power of letting someone in.

I am where I am today largely because of the leaders who took a chance on me, stretched me, and supported me on both my personal and professional journey. My goal is to be that person for my team.

DFA: How do you pay it forward?

JF: I make it a point to surround myself with leaders who model the behaviors I value, and I have become a champion for those just starting out on their journey. I am committed to working with my teams to create a culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging, an obligation to share a dissenting opinion, and can bring their whole selves to work feeling inspired and respected. It is important for everyone to work for leaders who bring out the best in you and who embrace varying perspectives and see differences as an opportunity to grow. I made a promise to remain true to my authentic self and I want others to feel the freedom to do the same.

I am also actively engaged on the Executive Steering Committee for Capital One’s Women’s Business Resource Group and the Capital One Greater Washington Market President Network, both in McLean. I am an advisor for 1863 Ventures and passionate about helping small businesses succeed.

 

Don’t miss hearing insights from Jenn Flynn and other leaders who are helping to support and advance flexible working arrangements in their organizations.

Register for our conference TODAY. 

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility. Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center.

A common barrier to launching new and expanded flexible work programs/policies is convincing organizational leaders of the long-term business benefits with recruiting, retention and productivity. Common questions include: What are peer organizations doing? Do our employees really care about flex? Is the cost really worth the benefit? Is the benefit too tenuous to measure? The Alliance can show you how to make it “RAIN” with your organizational leaders by demonstrating the business benefits of holistic flex.I

REVIEW EXTERNAL TRENDS: Company leaders may ask what peer organizations are doing in the area of flex. It’s important to review detailed industry surveys and current data such as the Alliance’s annual New Partner Report and our Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey, which contains data, trends, and statistics. When reviewing external surveys, look for trends in the types of programs peer organizations are launching. Make note of statistics and data to support your pitch with leaders. It’s also important to look at common challenges in your industry. Is there a glass ceiling for women at top leadership levels? Are employees commonly leaving traditional jobs for more flexible or alternative employers? Are there any niche areas losing traction in your industry? By thinking through common industry challenges and creating policies/programs to address them, you can be a trailblazer and gain recruitment and retention benefits.

Read more

The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility.  Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center.

Many organizations offer vastly different flex and leave benefits to employees at different levels of seniority and with different responsibilities. For example, at a number of law firms, attorneys have access to better flexibility and leave policies than professional staff. Given the integral role that staff plays at companies and firms, we recommend that organizations make their formal flex and leave policies more widely available to staff in order to promote higher satisfaction and retention rates. While the flex work types offered should reflect the diverse needs of staff and may differ from those offered to other professionals, providing flexibility to all employees is important to realizing your organization’s inclusion objectives.

The results of our 2017 Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey, which tracks workplace flexibility in law firms, show there has been little progress on closing the gap between the level of formal flex and leave policies offered to staff as compared to attorneys. While nearly all participating firms (94% of this year’s respondents) have a flex policy for attorneys, only 16.7% of participating firms report having a flex policy for staff. It’s worth noting the difference between firms offering paid gender-neutral leave to attorneys (89% of firms surveyed), as compared to firms offering paid gender-neutral leave to all staff (61% of firms surveyed). Of the firms surveyed, 22% do not offer any paid parental leave for staff.

These results serve as a good reminder to make sure your flex and leave policies are inclusive of all employees. Here are some ways to reduce the disparity in flex and leave benefits among employees…

Read more