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How to work flexibly and get promoted five times
In an interview with Rhonda Bennett, Head of IT business change at Pinsent Masons, we, Attune Flexible Jobs, asked her how she has worked flexibly for many years, as well as being promoted five times in a career that has spanned twenty years ensuring that working flexibly has never held her back ….
When you made the decision to work flexibly, how did you go about it?
I applied for flexible working so I could share the childcare with my husband. It wasn’t the norm 15 years ago, particularly in the role I had in which I had to travel up and down the country.
Five years later when I had my second child, agile and home working
was more common if not typical; it still wasn’t accepted like it is
today. I changed my flexible working arrangement so I could work
from home one day a week.
You have been with Pinsent Masons for 20 years. What changes
have you seen in attitudes towards flexible working?
There have been lots! Thankfully, attitudes towards agile and flexible
working have changed. Presenteeism, which may have been a
problem years ago, is not as paramount.
Employees are also asking for flexible working patterns to balance
their work and home lives, mental health and wellbeing is high up
the agenda now, and women expect to be supported back into the
workplace after having children.
What are the benefits to working flexibly for you?
I am happier. I get to see my husband and my children. And being
part of their lives is priceless. I even manage to go to the gym first thing!
Flexible working is sometimes seen as a hinderance to promotion
but clearly that has not been the case for you as you have been
promoted five times. How have you done this?
I stretch myself and prove my worth by achieving my objectives. I
am just as committed to my role as anyone else who works standard
hours and gets promoted. I also make my goals clear to my managers
and ask for opportunities that are going to help me achieve those.
What advice would you give others who want to work flexibly
and / or get promoted?
Flexible working to me is about being flexible. I would recommend
being clear about your objectives, staying in touch, speaking up and
not apologising for the working pattern you have agreed.
How do you manage your flexible team?
By being open and approachable, I trust my team to get the job done.
It also helps that we have policies and procedures in place that
promote flexible working plus our senior leaders’ endorsement.
We also have a lot of technology in place to support agile and flexible
working. Team members do not need to travel as much as we can
use online meeting technology like Webex. Communication shouldn’t
stop just because we can’t see each other all the time.
Huge thanks to Rhonda for sharing her story. If you would like to find
out more about the firm’s current job opportunities or would like
further information on Pinsent Masons more generally, please visit or you can contact us at Attune Flexible Jobs.