Natalie Goldman is CEO of Flexcareers and the Founder of Launch Pod. In addition, she is a Women’s Indigenous Network Board Member and Head of Strategy and Partnerships for Women as Entrepreneurs. After 20 years’ experience in human resources and learning and development, Natalie’s business endeavours are now centred around supporting women in business. She is a passionate advocate for the economic empowerment of women, gender equality and the future of work.
Natalie is determined to encourage organisations to embrace flexible working, as a more effective way to work. She was an Ambassador for Australia’s inaugural Flexible Working Day held on 21st June. Natalie has publicly shared her own approach to work flexibility. She is firmly of the belief flexible working provides women and men the opportunity to grow their careers whilst caring for family, or progressing other life pursuits.
In Australia, there is currently an underutilised talent pool of 3.5 million career women. How does FlexCareers help match women with the right role?
It starts with FlexCareers where we attract employers who are looking to hire flexibly, coupled with our digital acquisition strategy to build our community (profiles on our database). Then the platform analyses all of the jobs we have and suggests smart job matches to each of our candidates, based on their career history, location and education. Candidates get more intuitive, relevant job matches, and employers get to see a short list of the most relevant candidates for their roles. Essentially, we are removing the noise and bias out of recruitment.
What are some of the significant technological changes on the horizon that will help increase workplace flexibility for women and men?
The beauty of the algorithm that is based on Artificial Intelligence is that it is constantly evolving. Thus far it has read over 400 million CVs, learning what real life career paths look like for the thousands of specialisations in the modern workforce.
What are some of the business innovations you have seen implemented that help businesses better manage a flexible workforce?
Flexible work is about people. So some of the most successful implementations of flexible work are not actually technology based, but rather people focused. Such as getting senior leadership buy in and having them role model flexible work practices themselves. Being clear to leaders in the business as to what is flexible working at the organisation, and what is expected of them to lead a flexible team. As well as being provided training on how to be flexible, whilst giving them ongoing support via coaching and training as needed.
Good policies that support the process rather than hinder it and ways to share stories about how people are working flexibly so if you see it you can be it are vital. Creativity is key when identifying what types of flexibility would work well in your organisation. Take Lend Lease for example, not their head office in the lovely Barangaroo, but on the various sites across the country (and world for that matter). They are continually improving how their teams on sites can work more flexibly, which is absolutely brilliant!
There are approximately 70,000 women owned businesses in Australia. How are you supporting female business owners through Launch Pod and Women as Entrepreneurs?
Launch Pod is an education company delivering programs to build mind skills and resilience to be able to dream big and achieve great success. Women as Entrepreneurs is a networking group that provides the opportunity to find like-minded female entrepreneurs to support one another through the roller coaster of entrepreneurship.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Starting my business from scratch, whilst still juggling my 2 kids and a part-time APAC role in Learning and Development/Human Resources. I worked 18-20 hours days for about 18 months, until things tipped in the right direction to move full time into the entrepreneur space. Furthermore, I didn’t have a co-founder, it was all me. So having the right support was absolutely essential.
What are you most proud of?
Recognizing my abilities and capabilities when I took on the role as CEO of FlexCareers. I had never been the CEO of a technology company or worked on a job board. However, I had over 20 years business acumen, worked for tech companies for over 10+ years, had 10+ years experience in leadership. And most of my career has been in the HR/ Recruitment space. So combined I had what it takes. But too often we stop ourselves from doing something because we haven’t done it before. I remember going through my various skills and experiences. I realised that I had what it takes to lead and grow FlexCareers to become the amazing company it is today and into the future.
The other aspect that I am proud of is that all whilst I am doing this I am being a good mother to my two beautiful kids. By working flexibly, giving them my time and presence, and being there for the important moments. And sometimes, the less important ones like picking them up after school every Monday and every second Friday. It’s hard to make it happen but it’s worth it.
What’s one piece of advice for future female leaders?
Dream big. Don’t let your fears stop you from doing what you know is within you. Be heard. Make sure you that you speak your truth and don’t be afraid to voice your ideas. Step up. If you see an opportunity put your hand up, take a risk and try. Don’t be afraid to try. BE BOLD. Don’t follow the rules.