“In 2006 when I left my professional career, I felt like I was failing at everything, especially being a mom. It was always just one more conference call, one more email, one more proposal. I stopped nursing my second child because of job stress and an awful performance review to go with it. If Listen + Learn had been an option then, I don’t think I would have given up my professional career – one I had worked so hard to achieve. I am so happy to be part of an environment that appreciates work-life balance, and I really admire the young moms in our group that can keep it all together so beautifully.” Skye
I love talking to Skye. She’s one of those people who have all the stories. She always makes me think.
So, when we were talking about International Women’s Day recently, she had this great idea of asking the team to share some of their experiences at work.
And that’s what it’s about, isn’t it? Reflecting, celebrating and questioning. What more can we do? How else can we help?
As a small business, it’s easy to put these conversations aside. They’re for bigger companies, right?
We don’t agree. I became LLR’s first People Manager before we had 10 employees.
We believe it’s never to early to start. We may be small, but we have a complex people operation (an international team all working remotely – which means a lot of different practices, expectations and regulation).
So, having reflected what would we like to celebrate?
- Our flexibility – our founder has always believed in focusing on the work rather than where it takes place. For too many flexible working, isn’t. For us, we can flex our days. Some work better later, some earlier, some have school runs, some other commitments. We agree when we need to collaborate, the rest is up to us. No guilt, no nonsense.
- Our compassion – work’s important, but the people who do the work are more so. Life is full of ups and downs. One of the things I’m most proud of is the way we support each other when times are tough. We look out for each other and give time, space, or whatever else we can do to help. Be it pets with rare diseases, dealing with domestic abuse, sick children, Covid – or whatever life throws at us.
- Equality – working remotely means you have to make sure people have the space to share their opinions. It’s in the little things. Senior managers defer to those more junior. Taking it in turns to talk. Basic stuff, but easy to overlook. The result are discussions where everyone has a voice. A space to have and share your opinions. A place where you feel valid, heard and valued.
There are a couple of other initiatives we’re working on that I’m really proud of.
- We started quarterly “Women of LLR” meetings, with the goal to give women an open space to talk about different issues and policies that are important to us.
- Domestic abuse training. We’re giving staff time at work to take the IDAS Domestic Abuse Basic Awareness Training and Sexual Violence Basic Awareness Training.
- We’re been helping the team (70% women) create better working practices and work-life balance – which is super important for a remote workforce.
We want to do more. We’re going to do more. We’re committed to taking more proactive steps. We need to learn to listen and be willing to make the necessary changes, and it’s not always linear and simple.
- My goal for this year is to bring big firm practices to a small firms’ operations. Better maternity is a priority.
- We also need to work harder on our diversity. It’s not where it should be. We’re ok with gender and European nationalities, but that’s it. We need to be better.
- We’re going to start an internship programme to help people from diverse backgrounds start a career in market research.
- We’re going to say focused on developing our people, making sure they have a clear career path and know how to achieve it.
- We’ll be working to create opportunities for more women to be properly represented in the senior management team.
Lots to do, but exciting to get there.
What did the rest of the team have to say?
Here’s what some of the team said when we asked them about what Listen & Learn Research was like to work for.
“’Listen and Learn is an extraordinarily compassionate workplace, ready and willing to accommodate all of my professional and personal needs. Few women are privileged with such flexibility. It sure does make day-to-day life a lot easier and a lot more warm-hearted.” Louise
“I appreciate that LLR makes me feel like a full equal” Lilas
“Equal opportunities and unconditional support: at LLR, I feel empowered, valued and motivated to focus on creating the perfect harmony between work and my personal life.” Sofia
“At LLR, I never came across negative prejudices or biases against women and moms particularly.” Stella
“One of the things I love about working at LLR is that EVERYONE is encouraged to give their opinions, and listened to when they do. We all have different lifestyles but we’re given the flexibility and support to make it work for us.” Hannah
“I’m proud to work in a place that understands and respects the fact that we all have different needs, different schedules, different lives and that L+LR women, just like anyone else, are heard and in control of their work-life balance.” Maria