Working for Parliament was not something I ever expected to do when I was young but I am very glad I took the chance when it was offered. There are so many different opportunities within the House of Commons. I have changed roles a number of times in my career, and while I have worked primarily within Chamber and Committee Services I have also worked in other areas and with other teams. I have found people here very welcoming and supportive.
I was fortunate in my earlier career to have one of the first women clerks to be recruited as my manager. She certainly encouraged me to be the best I could be, and set a high standard. She was also an advocate of work/life balance before it was widely discussed. I learned a great deal from her.
I have been a part-time and flexible worker for the past 10 years, combining work with my family responsibilities. Since becoming a part-time worker, it has become very important to me to show that a family-friendly approach to working can benefit both the worker and the business: work cannot fill all my waking hours, but this motivates me to think about how to use my working time most effectively. I start and finish work earlier than many of my colleagues but the early starts mean the office as a whole can be ‘open for business’ for longer, and provide an enhanced service. As a manager, the fact that I am not in the office at the same time as everyone else is fairly visible but I hope to show that this does not alter my commitment to do the best job I can.
I look for and (I hope) acknowledge people’s strengths: even tasks which seem insignificant to the person doing them can be used to give positive feedback and enable someone to see themselves differently.
As a role model I commit to demonstrating the benefits of flexible working and to look for opportunities to promote and enable flexible working in my area. If I was to give my younger self any advice I would say change will happen faster if you are willing to make it happen.
Elizabeth's role in Parliament
I work in the Journal Office as Senior Votewriter. The Journal Office produces the authoritative record of proceedings in the House of Commons. The office manages the procedural knowledge of the House and knowledge of the law and privileges of the House. It also provides the secretariat for the Standards, Privileges, Procedure and Petitions Committees and the Speaker’s Committees on IPSA and the Electoral Commission.