Joy Redmond, Head of Research at Sonru, shares her own experience and weighs in on the importance of not overlooking flexible workers when it comes to implementing a truly diverse and inclusive policy.

I’m a part-time freelance remote worker that occasionally appears on site. There are a couple of adjectives in that short sentence that are almost dirty words in the recruitment vocabulary. I haven’t always worked like this. I, like most of you, have moved from one full-time job to the next because the amount of work needed to get from zero awareness to national or global brand necessitated working full time. Then, life got in the way – my son was diagnosed with ASD and had delayed language that called for a range of interventions – weekly speech and occupational therapy appointments, daily applied behavioural analysis and a suite of home programmes in between. So, I had to pull back and rethink.

Diversity has parents

Diversity is often thought of purely in terms of race, gender, ethnicity and or [dis]ability but lack of flexibility is a known inhibitor to certain minorities, particularly parents and carers. I’m lucky because Sonru could still see the value I could bring outside the parameters of a full-time on-site role that I’d originally been hired to do. For me, working part-time and/or remotely is optimal in terms of my own productivity so I contract part-time with Sonru, have time for other freelance work and a few side hustles, and have time for myself because sometimes you just need a walk on the beach. To be honest, I enjoy the variety. In the autism community, we call these shifts ‘sensory breaks’, but I think it’s more a corporate strain of ADHD. Anyway, too often candidates are removed from consideration if the focus is on time and place rather than deliverables. I always say that passion is not pro-rata so the trick is to find companies and clients that don’t reduce your worth to a clocking-in machine.

Me Time isn’t only for Me

I finished an online degree in UX Design and Technology last year and I shared my learnings within my fellow marketing buddies here so much so that they overtook me and are now producing all their own graphics. The art writing course I’ve just finished is helping with my messaging and written communications and sure there is no harm in revisiting a fairly obscure language I learned but didn’t master in college. When I worked full-time with small children, downtime was spent doing household stuff or leisure, the idea of further learning was laughable. Now, with a bit more distance and being off the treadmill, I can see that what I do in my free time can help my work. I can also move around my days to get out and about to conferences and events, a luxury unavailable to many full-timers but so important in terms of knowledge acquisition and inspiration. I refueled recently at Dublin Tech Summit and will be heading to InspireFest this week.

The ten thousand words behind this picture

This featured image is one of my favourite family photos. It’s a photo of my two sons after swim club training. Who doesn’t have dozens or even hundreds of photos of siblings going, doing and/or coming home from sport?  This photo is the one and only time my sons trained together. What you can’t see in the photo is the two years of weekly lessons that our Autism group co-funded to rent out the pool and hire six teachers for the six learners. It doesn’t show another five years of  1-2-1 lessons in a private hotel pool or the one year the swim club gave him his own lane during the Masters’ training. What we see is my eldest son’s final night in swim club [during his leaving cert before heading off to Uni] and his little brother trying his hand at sharing a lane with his peers. Two years on and he’s still sharing the lane. This photo would never have been taken if I’d been working full-time and I wouldn’t trade it or that possible career for anything.

Last words

Before and as a parent, I’ve done it all – full time at work, full time at home, remote work, part-time work, unemployed, underemployed, deployed and there is no magic formula or answer – it’s a bit like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer is 42 but what is the question? You have to find the groove that fits you. I definitely work at least 40 hours per week but I can guarantee those hours are not shoehorned between 9-5 on weekdays. In fact, I could well be at the beach while you’re reading this and that to me is quite beautiful. I’ll end with my own version of Seneca’s famous quote: “The important thing isn’t how long you work, but how well you work,” and recommend you check out Seneca’s contemporary – Tim Ferriss and read more about his 4-Hour Workweek.

Joy Redmond
Edward Hendrick
Ed holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness & Rural Development and a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship.

Since founding Sonru in 2007 with the vision of introducing Video Interviewing to mainstream recruitment, Ed has established the organisation as a global leader and one of the top recruitment SaaS companies worldwide.

With numerous accolades to his name such as the Sunday Business Posts ‘Top 40 Under 40’ and IIA Net Visionary award for innovation, Ed is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in video recruitment technology and is a renowned industry speaker.

With a passion for new technology and how it can be used to make life easier for people in the real world, Ed has been instrumental in shaping the current landscape of the Video Interviewing industry.
Chris Horan
CTO at Sonru
Chris graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Computer Science and went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science in Physics and Computer Science as well as a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development.

With almost 20 years’ experience in the software engineering and computer science space, Chris has worked with leading technology companies such as Accuris, CAPE Technologies and BearingPoint.

Chris has been at the forefront of Sonru’s product development since the company’s inception in 2007.
Daniel Richard
Managing Director EMEA
Sonru’s Europe MD, Daniel Richard, graduated from Queen’s University, Canada with a Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Science.

A trained Occupational Psychologist with more than 15 years of sales and consulting experience in multinational recruitment and HR services companies, Daniel leads Sonru’s sales efforts within EMEA, helping to grow its rapidly expanding customer base.

Prior to joining Sonru, Daniel spent 10 years at Oracle Taleo helping to build the company from a small regional start-up to a true industry leader. Daniel has held a variety of sales and consulting positions on various continents, including the US and Europe.
Fergal O'Byrne
Non-Executive Director
Fergal holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology and is an experienced Internet industry entrepreneur.

Since founding Interactive Return in 1998, Fergal has been a member of the Board of Directors of, WINC, and CCD Limited and was a previous chair of the Project Advisory Group for Fáilte Ireland’s eBusiness Support Initiative.

A recognised influencer within the industry, Fergal has served as CEO of the Irish Internet Association and has published four books including ‘10 Online Marketing and Search Engine Essentials’ and ‘10 Technologies Every Executive Should Know’.

In 2015, Fergal was inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
George Pennock
George holds an MA in History from Oxford University and is a previous Partner and Head of Saphir UK at Saphir Capital Partners.

George spent several years with the Goldman Sachs Group as a mergers and acquisitions banker before moving into private equity where he has spent most of the past 15 years. He has served as a Senior Investment Manager and COO at Pi Capital, and worked with Botts & Company Ltd where he made private equity investments in the leisure, publishing, branded goods, retail, and technology sectors.

Having spent the past two decades working with a myriad of talented and unconventional entrepreneurs, investing in everything from online employee benefits platforms to river boats and book publishers, George is passionate about backing exceptional people and interesting businesses and believes that while a mediocre management team can ruin even a great plan, a great management team can make a success of almost any business opportunity.
John Penning
Currently, I am a Director of Sonru, the leading Online Video Interviewing company. Previous career highlights include; CEO of the Irish Internet Association, Chairman of and Founder and CEO of Interactive Return. In 2015 I was very honoured to be inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
Rodolphe Verhaegen
Non-Executive Director
Rodolphe is currently an Operational Advisor with Digital Ventures in Brussels having previously worked in Ebay, most recently as Director of Customer Innovation.

Rodolphe is an innovative and creative business leader, with a strong interest in technology and agile software development practices. He holds an Masters Degree in Business Information Management and a BA in Business Economics from the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels.
Georges Schmit
Non-Executive Director
A native of Luxembourg, Georges graduated with degrees in Economics from the University of Louvain, Belgium (BA) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MA). Besides his native Luxembourgish, Georges is fluent in French, English and German.

Georges served the Government of Luxembourg from 1981 to 2016 and throughout most of his career he focused on innovation and technology policy, economic development and trade and investment promotion.

During his time with the Government of Luxembourg, Georges served as Secretary General of the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and was a member of several European Union high-level advisory bodies including the European Commission's "Enterprise Policy Group”. He also served as both Vice-Chairman and Executive Chairman of the National Credit and Investment Corporation (SNCI) of Luxembourg.

Georges has served on the Board of Directors of both listed and private companies including the world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-based global satellite operator SES, the Luxembourg Post and Telecommunications Company, and the Luxembourg State and Savings Bank, among others. Most recently, he contributed to the design and launch of several major Luxembourg Government innovation policy initiatives and sits on the Luxembourg Government’s Advisory Board on Space Resources.
Daria Polunina
Non-Executive Director
A director at Saphir Capital Partners, Daria holds a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management from the University of Essex as well as a MSc in Finance from Cass Business School. Daria also sits on the board of Molinare and Wine Source Group.

Patrick Sweeney
Non-Executive Director
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree in Accounting, Management, Human Resources, Marketing and Economics from University of Limerick as well as Masters of Education in Management, Human Resources and Training and Development from University of Sheffield.

For 25 years, Patrick held the position of Human Resources and Public Affairs Director for Aughinish Alumina where he was involved in change management, restructuring and international mergers and acquisitions.

Patrick also undertook many other leadership roles including operations management, training and development and employee relations management. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors at Sonru since 2011, Patrick has operated his own strategic management and human resources consultancy firm for the past 8 years.