Safer Wales announces unique job share for CEO position

Our current deputy CEO, Bernie Bowen-Thomson, has been promoted to the top role as part of a unique job share.

Bernie, who has been deputy CEO at Safer Wales for eight years, will share the CEO role with Barbara Natasegara MBE.

It is thought to be the first time a charity in Wales has made such an arrangement.

Our Board of Trustees were happy to approve the request as part of their strong commitment to flexible working and the empowerment of women all stages in their lives and careers.

We have a proud history of supporting internal staff development, growth and progression through a strong coaching ethos, and the move is also designed to create a succession plan for the future of the senior management team, as well as opportunities for other members of staff to receive mentoring and learn new skills.

Safer Wales chair Terry Flynn MBE said: “The Board of Trustees was more than happy to endorse this proposal, and we believe we are getting the best for Safer Wales.

“Barbara and Bernie both have a passion for social justice, equality, integrity of practice and transparency, and have many skills in common as well as their own individual specialisms.”

Bernie has worked with Safer Wales in various capacities since 2000, with other roles in Welsh Government, the Home Office and the Gwent Criminal Justice Board in between.

She said: “I have enjoyed a close working relationship with Barbara for many years and I am delighted we will now be sharing the CEO role and working together to direct the charity’s vital work with vulnerable people.”

Barbara said: “I am excited to be sharing the role with Bernie and look forward to continuing our successful partnership. 

“I am also looking forward to taking some time to explore other avenues in public service as well as to pursue my personal interests and study.”

A 2011 survey of women across seven global organisations by specialist recruitment agency Capability Jane found that 61 per cent would like the opportunity to job share to enable them to work part-time.

Last year research conducted by flexibility experts Timewise and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that 14.1 million workers, 46 per cent of those in employment in the UK, wanted flexible working.