As dual-income households rise, requests from men for flexible working arrangements to fit in with childcare responsibilities are reportedly becoming more frequent. But company cultures need to change to ensure that these requests are more broadly accepted, according to a panel.

Yesterday, November 7, at World IP Review’s Influential Women in IP in association with Herbert Smith Freehills, a panel session focused on “Harnessing the power of diversity in IP”.

On requests for flexible childcare arrangements, Alexa Pickersgill, senior legal counsel at Ball Packaging Europe, said: “It can be very much line manager dependent so maybe you were just lucky with the boss you had. But it shouldn’t be down to pure luck, it should be more broadly accepted.”

In agreement was Nadia Whittley, CEO of Arquer Diagnostics, who said that company culture needs to be so “deeply rooted that it has to transcend your line manager”. … Whittley cited a 2016 study in The Academy of Management Journal, which found that senior-level women who champion younger women are more likely to get negative performance reviews.