Q&A with Helen Humphreys – new Chair of the Board of Trustees
Published: 1 Sep 2021
Helen Humphreys took over as Chair on 1 September, 2021 after her appointment was confirmed at a meeting of the Board on 29 July, 2021.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your career so far?
I have spent most of my career working to ensure employees have the information they need to do a great job, to be inspired and to love who they work for. This can be challenging when an organisation is changing but I always try to be the employee advocate, to give them a voice and to make it easy for them to find the information they need. Having worked in large, global organisations most of my career, I now work as a freelance consultant – to give me greater flexibility and more control over my time but also to ensure I work on interesting projects.
What led you to want to become Chair of Working Families?
Working Families is a great organisation that has been campaigning for a better work / life balance for decades. As someone who has helped employees have a voice, who has tried to help employees have a better relationship with organisations, I think Working Families has insights – and the ability to use those insights – to make a difference to generations of workers and carers.
Why do you think Working Families’ message is relevant right now?
The past couple of years has shown us it is possible to work in a different way –where the needs of work no longer dominate every other need and it is much easier to choose a different way of balancing time and energy.
Whilst some of the words being used now, such as hybrid working, may be new, the issues are the same as those that Working Families has been campaigning for for over 40 years which shows that our messages have never been more relevant.
What do you think our role should be as we rebuild after the pandemic?
Working Families has a key role to play in the post pandemic world. The issues we have been leading on for the past 40 years are now core to political, business and individual discussions. Our ability to bring together insights from individuals who call our helpline, to help inform businesses who are updating their approach and policies, and politicians who are creating the societal environment in which we all work, means we are at the heart of moving the UK into a new, more flexible way of working.
What are you most excited about getting stuck into in your new role as Chair?
It is fantastic that organisations and politicians are now open to discussions and suggestions on how we can change the way we work to help people enjoy work and have the time and energy they need to support their families. It is exciting that Working Families can be part of that and we can use our insights and experience to help drive a better future for working families.
If you could say one thing to working parents, what would it be?
Believe in yourselves. You are doing an amazing thing balancing your work and your family. We want to make it easier for you to do that and will be working with you to create a better environment for you to enjoy your work and the time with your family.