Electrolux is piloting a new job share program which sees the marketing director role shared between Richelle Barker and Christina Kumcevski, both working three days each week for the months ahead.

Barker returned to Electrolux in June following 10 months of parental leave at which time Electrolux retail and shopper marketing manager, Kumcevski stepped up as acting marketing director in her absence.

“I am thrilled that Electrolux has provided an opportunity for me to spend more time with my daughter, while being able to get back to a job and team I love,” Barker said.

“Working with Christina as marketing director has been such an enjoyable return from maternity leave. It’s great that we can try something new, and I am proud that Christina and I are able to help build a foundation for the future that will genuinely benefit others returning to work after extended time away.”

Having returned to work twice from maternity leave, Kumcevski said she understands the delicate balance of being excited to return to work while managing the practicalities and emotions of being away from children after parental leave.

“My children are now eight and five, and I am continuously exploring ways to find a better work/life blend, which I am sure is a familiar objective for employees across all industries,” Kumcevski said.

“During my time at Electrolux, I have benefitted from our commitment to flexible working, having worked part time on my return to work from parental leave, undertaking a secondment and am proud that Electrolux continues to evaluate new ways of working.

“Richelle and I are thankful for the ongoing support from our marketing team who are our key stakeholders in this program and are thrilled to take part in this job share pilot program to identify valuable learnings that we can use to further develop job share opportunities across our organisation, not only for returning parents, but for all employees who are looking a better blend of work and life.”

Electrolux Australia and New Zealand is committed to delivering a truly inclusive, diverse and equitable workplace, according to managing director, Kurt Hegvold.

“We know how challenging it can be for parents returning from maternity or paternity leave. The balancing of career ambitions and the real emotional pressures of time apart from your new and growing family can make that return practically and emotionally difficult,” Hegvold said.

“The risk is that amazing talent is lost from our business if we can’t find solutions. When we had a meeting of the minds with Christina and Richelle, two great leaders in our business who showed the bravery and willingness to drive this initiative, we knew the time was right. We are excited to partner and support them both on this important journey. We will take away valuable learnings that we can continue to apply across our organisation, helping us to better care for our people and build better careers.”