Flexible conditions entice more women back into workforce

  • Jason and Kirstyn O'Rourke with their two children, Oliver and Charles.

Jason and Kirstyn O'Rourke with their two children, Oliver and Charles.

Therapy Connect’s very own Sunshine-Coast-based speech pathologist, Kirstyn O’Rourke, is enjoying a truly flexible work–life balance – one that supports her family’s needs while also allowing her to progress in her career.

Therapy Connect’s flexible and adaptable online model has allowed Kirstyn, with two boys aged 10 and 11, to enjoy a typical working day that might include anything from work meetings and administration through to school drop-offs and even removing a goanna from her chicken coop.

Flexible new working conditions in the allied health industry are enticing more women back into the workforce, significantly reducing the serious national shortage of qualified therapists. 

The growing acceptance and success of online therapy is making it easier for more female practitioners, especially mothers, to help bridge the chronic gap between supply and demand that is impacting patients around Australia.  

Thanks to flexible working conditions, Kirstyn was able to travel around Australia with her husband and two young children, while working with her clients remotely from her caravan.

‘While we were travelling around Australia, my husband would take our two boys sightseeing or they’d hang out at the pool in the caravan park so that I could take over the van and work,’ Kirstyn said. 

‘I am so grateful for the opportunity to take that year to travel with my family. We wouldn’t have been able to do it if I hadn’t worked. It’s so important for the allied health industry to provide flexibility for both mums and dads. 

‘Being a female-dominated profession, flexibility allows those who choose to work and parent to still put their family first. Flexibility and balancing working hours with “living hours” is becoming more and more important, especially in industries like ours.’ 

Therapy Connect’s innovative approach to allied health care is delivering faster and easier access to highly qualified and experienced therapists, and slashing patient waitlists by up to 18 months. 

Our unique online model is improving workforce participation, productivity and engagement, as well as helping with recruitment and retention. It also boosts employee wellbeing and satisfaction for both men and women in the allied health sector. 

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the reality of health workforce burnout, which is one of the leading causes of the skill shortage.

Supporting the healthcare workforce with flexible work hours that suit family, lifestyle and location has never been more important. Therapy Connect offers highly skilled allied health professionals the opportunity to have the best of both worlds – a rewarding career and a fulfilling lifestyle – with freedom to work from anywhere and set their own hours.

We’re also proud that currently 90 per cent of our practitioners are women, proving that the model ideally suits their lifestyle while ensuring they are still making a valuable contribution for thousands of Australian NDIS therapy participants. 

Interested in a career with Therapy Connect? Learn more about our current opportunities and apply here.

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