How IAG supports parents returning to the workforce

IAG is the largest general insurance group in Australia and NZ and they are committed to providing a supportive, diverse and inclusive workplace for all of their employees. They understand the many challenges of balancing work and family and offer a range of benefits to assist working parents. These include a national school holiday care program, 14 weeks paid primary carers leave and a new initiative MyFlex to accommodate flexibility needs. Working Mothers Connect is proud to partner with IAG and support their talent acquisition strategy.

We had the opportunity to speak with Fleur Maclean, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, to discuss her journey and experience when returning from parental leave.

1. Tell us about yourself

I have worked at IAG for 5 years and I have been given a lot of opportunities during that time including a secondment in Singapore, changed work patterns, a leadership role and two years parental leave. I have two children, 4 years old and 18 months old. I have recently returned from parental leave in March 2018.

2. Did your role change at all upon your return?

My Business Partner role had taken on greater leadership accountability with direct reports. The business area that I partner with had also gone through operating changes.

3. Explain the transition from parental leave into the workplace. What were your biggest challenges?

This was my second time returning to work after parental leave at IAG. The biggest challenge for me was understanding the changes that had occurred over the 12 months across the portfolio that I help to support. I also had to work out how to best manage my time and logistics of dropping off and picking up my children.

4. How was IAG supportive with this transition?

IAG supported me in providing flexible work arrangements. I start my working day early and finish early so that I can collect my children from childcare. I also have the support of being able to work from home and a team culture and people leader that supports true flexibility #MyFlex.

5. What flexible work practices do IAG offer return to work parents?

IAG introduced #MyFlex to accommodate flexibility needs and champion opportunities for everyone to achieve work life flex. This was a culture shift from accommodating individual flexibility needs to becoming just the way things are done. IAG embrace all aspects of flexibility, it’s about how, when and where we do our work to create a truly diverse, inclusive and agile workforce. #MyFlex applies to everyone, not just return to work mothers.

6. Which benefit/s have best supported you personally in your return to work?

I received a welcome back payment equivalent to six weeks’ pay which supported me financially when I returned to work. I also received flexibility around my working hours straight away which supported me in my transition back into the workforce. By allowing me to live and work as my authentic self, I feel supported and better able to reach my potential at IAG.

7. Describe a typical day in the office.

It is a balancing act! We have activity-based working so people move around and are able to build connections across different teams. In Talent Acquisition, we are out there creating closer connections with our candidates, stakeholders and peers.  We work hard to make sure that our recruitment and selection processes champion inclusion and diversity of talent

8. How does this flexibility positively impact your life?

Flexibility at work has such a positive impact on my life as a working mother. It is far broader than traditional formal working arrangements, people seek flexibility for many reasons and at all different times throughout their career. It can be formal and scheduled or informal and irregular. It plays a critical role in my success by fostering an inclusive workplace, one that recognises different ways of working and reflects my wants and needs as a working parent

9. Do you feel parents are more likely to commit to a company long term that offers flexible work arrangements?

I think it goes beyond women to offering all employees flexible work arrangements and a dedication to championing and promoting inclusion for everyone within our business. Flexibility is only one part of what defines a company, an employee needs to feel connected to the company for which they work. Employees are likely to stay at a company if they feel its culture, purpose and spirit are aligned to and reflect their personal values.

10. What would be one piece of advice you would give to another parent returning to work post baby?

Find a company that offers a truly inclusive workplace and has a focus on equity and accessibility as well as flexibility. Once you have found the right company, figure out the right working pattern for you. Flexibility can mean so much more than part time and there are a lot of ways you can create the best work pattern for you and your family. Then, drop the guilt at home!

Visit to learn more about IAG, their benefits and current opportunities.