Meet OG job share pioneers Pam & Emily
It was an honor to interview media job share pioneers Pam McElroy and Emily Dillinger for the Work Muse Job Share Project. Emily is one of several partners Pam teamed up with over her years of job sharing, starting in the late nineties.
For starters, this job share touts one of the biggest benefits of job sharing—the fun! Pam and Emily regaled us with story after story of how many laughs they had as partners in crime during the old school radio days.
Pam smiling ear to ear, “We laughed about everything a lot…I lived for Wednesdays!”
Emily and Pam were in the radio game at a time when deals were done on cocktail napkins and you had to keep on your toes and one step ahead doing business with Texas businessmen. And this ‘dynamic duo’ (a nickname by a former manager) were like Thelma and Louise.
these job share pioneers inspired more to do the same
She might not have realized it at that moment, but Pam opened doors for many women (and a few men!), including me, to job share in the demanding industry. Over the years, dozens of Austin media sales professionals shared their marketing and sales positions, inspired by Pam. Seeing is believing, after all.
leading by example through women helping women
I was lucky enough to see how job share magic worked first-hand working with Pam and Dana Montgomery in her first job share partner at iHeart Media (formerly Clear Channel). I was in my early twenties and children were far from my mind, but I was impressed by the concept and the results the pair achieved. Maybe more so, Market VP Judy Shelton Lakin—one of the few women in the position nationwide then—had the guts to take the leap of faith and approve their job share.
tenacity paid off & job sharing gave the single moms the money and time they needed
Pam returned to work after a five-year career break caring for her daughter. To close the deal, she literally interviewed all over Austin unafraid to ask for her job share. She was a single mom at the time, as was Emily, and job sharing gave them the money and time they needed. Pam’s tenacity paid off when she interviewed with Judy, a working mom who was willing to take a calculated risk on a work practice she’d heard of, but never seen in practice. Pam knew she’d struck work-life gold.
the dynamic duo’s advice: try it! And of course, have fun
The advice this team gives to industries considering job sharing is, “Try it!” On working together, Pam smiled ear to ear, “We laughed about everything a lot…I lived for Wednesdays!” (the Dynamic Duo’s shared day) Emily shot back, “It was a fun experience, the whole thing.”
Companies are losing senior women at an alarming rate. As Pam proves, job sharing is a great way to retain women and recruit women relaunching a career. Not only this, job sharing gives them the professional development, support, and flexibility they need.
If you are an HR professional or manager, Work Muse can help you create a work environment that leverages job sharing to attract and retain diverse talent and increase productivity and engagement. Learn more here.
If you want the most rewarding experience of your professional life and your best opportunity for real work-life balance, Work Muse can help you enter the world of job sharing. Learn more here.