Change or lose good people

Re: 'Fighting the Talent Crunch' (Jan. 29, '01)....

Re: ‘Fighting the Talent Crunch’ (Jan. 29, ’01).

I would like to offer one potential explanation for Frank Palmer’s quote, ‘Account service people at senior levels are very hard to find….’

In my experience, most account service people are women. And once they’ve gained enough experience to be considered ‘senior’, that stage often coincides with marriage and parenthood. As any parent knows, keeping up the pace of full-time work and family combined – and doing both well – is extremely difficult.

Working in marketing, particularly within an agency – I know, I did it for eight years – is synonymous with long hours and a grueling pace. I believe it’s time that the industry accept some responsibility for its current predicament.

Many senior people who are trying to juggle both roles end up working as consultants or going freelance, leaving permanent employment arrangements. If the industry doesn’t adapt to the needs of such employees – by offering flexible work arrangements and job sharing – it will continue to send the message that experienced, tenured professionals aren’t worth the effort to retain.

I am the mother of two children and enjoy a job-sharing arrangement at Royal Bank.

Ellen Ward Elliott

Manager, Direct Marketing

Personal & Commercial Banking

Customer Communications

Royal Bank of Canada

Toronto, Ont.