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Steeple Aston

9-2-3 is a recruitment agency that specialises in placing high quality candidates into jobs with hours that fit in around the school run.

News and Events

Welcome to the News and Events section of our website. Here you can find out what the 9-2-3 team have been up to, and keep up to date with flexible working events.

You can also listen to our series of podcasts, ‘Flexibly Speaking.

#100WaysToWorkFlexibly with the Women’s Business Council

Today, Helen, 9-2-3 Founder and Director was lucky enough attend the launch of the #100WaysToWorkFlexibly campaign, hosted by The Women’s Business Council. It’s all about showcasing men and women of different ages, and different backgrounds, all of whom work flexibly, in ways that suit them and their employers. Whether it’s to care for young children or elderly relatives, upskill, deal with a health issue or pursue a personal passion – or sometimes the demands of a second job. We know that life is complicated, and the ability to work flexibly can make a HUGE difference to our personal and professional lives. The launch today explored more than 100 case studies from individuals and their employers, about balancing work with other commitments, using a myriad of flexible/dynamic/agile working patterns. Baroness Williams, Minister for Equalities was attending, and is championing this inspiring campaign.  Well done Women’s Business Council! As Baroness Williams, the Minister of State for Equalities, said - there’s real momentum building on this agenda!! Great to be there and part of the discussion! Such a brilliant panel talk too.
3 July 2019

Hannah and Helen enjoy the campaign launch, held at Freuds, London - eclectic mix of art on display everywhere!

Hannah and Helen enjoy the campaign launch, held at Freuds, London - eclectic mix of art on display everywhere!

Banbury Women in Business: chatting all things FLEX
We absolutely love our local business community. It's innovative, welcoming, with a great entrepreneurial spirit! So, our Founder and Director Helen Wright, was thrilled to attend the Banbury Women in Business lunch yesterday, where she was invited to talk about the benefits that flexible working can bring to businesses. Profitability, productivity, and motivated staff are all HUGE wins for any manager striving to get the best out of their team. It was a pleasure to share our insights - and the 9-2-3 story - with such a fabulous group of women - thanks for having us! 
12 June 2019


How is work affecting your health?
We all know that our working lives have a huge impact on our physical, emotional and mental health. So, we were incredibly excited to be asked along to the latest policy roundtable event last week, organised by Understanding Society. If you haven't already, then do check out this fascinating study, the largest longitudinal household panel study of its kind. Researchers from academic and non-academic institutions take a look at life changes and stability, making evidenced observations about family life, education, employment and health. This time, the focus was on how work is affecting our health, and the findings supported what we at 9-2-3 see and hear every day. Some key findings included: high work-family-conflict is associated with psychological distress (and being able to flex can help reduce this); women who worked the longest hours experienced the poorest mental health (where long hours didn't seem to affect men as much). Another fascinating discussion was entitled: "Flexible working: how does it affect the health and well-being of working mothers?" Research concluded that reduced working hours, coupled with flexibility in the workplace, resulted in benefits in terms of stress levels. This was particularly found for mothers of two or more children. In addition, ‘poor work’ was worse for health than being unemployed. For us, this all points to the conclusion that employers should consider flexible working policies for a healthier, more motivated workforce.
10 June 2019

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Pregnant then Screwed Live! Manchester
To add to an incredible weekend for 9-2-3, we were so excited to be involved in Pregnant then Screwed Live! in Manchester. We’re working with new clients everyday in the region, and meeting heaps of talented professionals who are seeking flexible work. This was the perfect opportunity for us to share experiences, and hear your stories of the transformative power of flexible working. Helen, Lucy and Kat were on hand offering CV advice, and chatting all things flexible working. The 9-2-3 catsuit also got another outing! It was a fantastic event, and inspiring to hang out with some formidable ladies - including the very lovely Jamelia! Thankyou to Joeli and her hard-working team for putting together another wonderful day.
13 May 2019

Kat, Lucy, Joelie and Helen

Kat, Lucy, Joelie and Helen

The KATsuit

The KATsuit

Helen, Kat and Jamelia

Helen, Kat and Jamelia

WE WON! 9-2-3 named Best Small Business in Cherwell Awards 2019
On Friday, we were announced as winners in the Best Small Business category at the Cherwell Business Awards. We’re completely thrilled! Thankyou to our incredible clients and candidates who make our job so worthwhile and rewarding. Also, thankyou to the fabulous judges at High Spec Composites who had a competitive, tough category on their hands. This makes our win even more significant. Our success is absolute proof that daring to be different, and challenging the status quo can pay off. It was a fantastic night, and was brilliantly organised. We feel very lucky to be part of such a thriving, innovative and welcoming business community. We’re on a winners high, and we can’t stop smiling!
13 May 2019

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Working Families Best Practice Awards FINALIST!
We’ve done it again! We’re thrilled to announce that 9-2-3 have today been announced as finalists in the Best Small Employer category for the Working Families Best Practice Awards 2019. Now in their tenth year, these national Awards showcase and celebrate employers who are offering flexibility for all their staff, and those who go above and beyond in their support for parents and carers. Working Families are a national work/life balance charity, and employers large and small from many sectors compete annually to reach the shortlist for these unique business awards that recognise flexible, agile organisations.
We've been shortlisted as finalists because of our pioneering approach within the recruitment industry. The whole 9-2-3 team are trusted to deliver what’s needed within the hours that suit them, and everyone is offered part time and/or flexible hours at the point of hire. We’ve signed up to the Working Forward Pledge, a nationwide campaign designed to encourage workplaces to be the best they can for pregnant women and new parents. We’re also part of the Disability Confident scheme, which means we welcome applications from people with a disability.  To find out more, visit the Working Families website. Winners are announced in June, so we’ll keep you posted!


Director of the Year FINALIST!
We’re over the moon to announce that Helen, our inspiring Director and Founder of 9-2-3 Jobs, has been shortlisted in the Start Up category for Director of the year London and South. Helen has been whittled down from thousands of entries, and the whole team are thrilled - and incredibly proud! The expert judging panel will now convene to decide the overall winners, to be announced at the awards ceremony in June. The Institute of Directors is a non-party political organisation, founded in 1903, with approximately 30k members. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, professional services to the public and voluntary sectors. Visit for a full list of finalists. Good luck Helen! We’re rooting for you.
3 May 2019


We’re Cherwell Business Awards Finalists!
We’re absolutely chuffed to bits to announce that we have been whittled down from 60 applicants, to become one of three finalists in the Small Business category! The whole team are thrilled that all our hard work, growth, passion and our ethos has been recognised. We love our team, our network, our talented candidates and our brilliant clients! The winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on Friday 10th May - keep everything crossed for us!
27 March 2019


Supporting women in the workplace
Last night, Helen spoke at a CIPD event to showcase how businesses can support women in the workplace by offering flexible working, and family-friendly policies. Of the roughly 35 businesses attending, happily some were already flexing it. Interestingly however, a fear of ‘opening the floodgates’ was the main reason for their organisations not embracing change. So, this was a fabulous opportunity to encourage businesses to open those floodgates - and see the benefits for themselves!
5 March 2019


Celebrating the Disability Confident scheme
The Disability Confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It's voluntary, and has been developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives. So, we were thrilled to be invited to talk at the event hosted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Helen was advocating flexible working for everyone, and explored how small changes to the standard working day can enable new talent to take part and thrive. We heard how businesses, including Microsoft UK, Oxfordshire Employment Services and others, have embraced those opportunities. 
22 February 2019

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Episode 4: Working flexibly with disabilities in the workplace. Our latest podcast is now live! This time around we chat to Diane Lightfoot, CEO of Business Disability Forum. Consider this: 18 per cent of the working age population in the UK are living with a disability, and this rises to 44% in those over 65. This is a huge talent pool ready to contribute their skill and expertise to our local businesses. In this episode, Diane chats to us about the ways that employers can enhance the workplace for those with disabilities, so that everyone can be their best.
Listen now.
21 February 2019

Flash mobs with Mother Pukka, hot pink cat's Pregnant then Screwed Live!
On Saturday, we attended the fabulously inspiring Pregnant then Screwed Live event in central London. Billed as a festival of motherhood and work, it was an absolute privilege to be seated on the Flexible Working speakers panel. As well as taking part in Mother Pukka's flash mob (our Jenna totally rocked the 9-2-3 hot pink cat suit!), we conducted one-on-one appointments with mums who wanted to know how to approach flexible working with their employer. We also chatted to women who wanted to find a career that would match their skill set - without the need to take a huge pay cut, just because they needed to be there for school or nursery pick up.
We sat in a room packed FULL of talented, intelligent, professional women who all wanted to work flexibly. Employees need this, businesses need this, and we currently have a HUGE pool of talent just waiting to be utilised. If you haven't already come across Joelie and her incredible team at Pregnant then Screwed,then you have to check them out. They deserve a massive round of applause for all their efforts in pulling off such a wonderful day. We cannot wait for the next one!
Listen to some fab soundbites from the event, including TV Presenter Kate Quilton, Freelance Journalist Robyn Wilder, and Anna Whitehouse aka Mother Pukka, all sharing their take on the mum/work/life juggle.
19 January 2019

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Episode 3: Combatting the gender pay gap, with Patrick Alleyne
Our latest podcast is now available, and it's rather brilliant even if we say so ourselves. 2018 thrust the gender pay gap into the limelight. So, this time around, we speak with Patrick Alleyne, who has a wealth of HR experience with London Gov, and currently works with Gapsquare – a company who provides innovative tech to firms that helps them understand and rectify the gender pay gap. Patrick explains how a targeted, informed approach is the most effective tool for tackling wage inequality in our workplaces. So, grab a coffee and have a listen - we're sure you'll find it as informative as we did.
Download the podcast.
14 December 2018


9-2-3 Working Forward in Manchester
Last week we headed up to Manchester to support the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s nationwide ‘Working Forward Pledge’, at a campaign event. 9-2-3’s Lucy Haworth took part as a key speaker, and outlined the business case for flexible working to employers across Manchester. The Working Forward campaign is backed by some of the UK’s leading businesses and industry bodies, and is designed to make workplaces the best they can be for pregnant women and new parents. Since 2015, we have been just one of a few agencies that solely deal in flexible job roles for experienced professionals. This year, the flexible working movement has gained real momentum. Tangible benefits range from less traffic congestion in our towns and cities, to increased productivity and greater staff retention. Lucy concluded: “We’re thrilled to be involved in the Working Forward Pledge. It’s a fantastic platform from which to bang the flexible working drum. The business case for offering flexible working is clear, the benefits are measurable, and it plays an essential role in allowing our businesses, our employees, and society as a whole, to thrive.”
14 December 2018

Flexible working in the automotive industry
Today, 9-2-3’s Founder, Helen Wright is bringing flexible working to the motorsport industry! She is Key Speaker at the ABP Women’s Automotive event at Williams F1 HQ. Flexible working offers universal, tangible benefits, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with successful, brilliant women who work in such a dynamic, high-profile industry.
5 December 2018

Helen at ABP Women’s Automotive, Williams F1 HQ

Helen at ABP Women’s Automotive, Williams F1 HQ

Welcome to our new home!
After much waiting, anticipation, and late-night trips to IKEA, we have finally moved into our new offices in Tackley, Oxfordshire. We have said a fond and emotional farewell to the shed in Helen’s back garden, where the 9-2-3 story began back in 2015. Steady growth and continued success meant that we outgrew our humble beginnings, and needed more space to accommodate our incredible team.
3 December 2018

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The 9-2-3 team settle into their new home.

The 9-2-3 team settle into their new home.

How to kick off your flexible working request
Our second Flexibly Speaking podcast is available to download now! This time around, we look at the best way to ask your employer for flexible working, and chat to Danielle Ayres, a Senior Associate at Gorvin's in Manchester. Danielle specialises in pregnancy and maternity discrimination and absolutely knows her stuff! This episode is a positive, informative look at how to ask for flexi working arrangements. It covers everything you need to make your flexible working request successful, including: planning your approach, considering the impact on the team, and the importance of getting it right first time. All this, and we share some of our own personal stories of the work vs childcare juggle. We were thrilled to chat with Danielle about the options available when it comes to asking for some flex. Enjoy!
21 November 2018

Podcast episode 2: Jenna, Danielle and Kat recording in Manchester

Podcast episode 2: Jenna, Danielle and Kat recording in Manchester

9-2-3 explore the Gender Pay Gap
On Wednesday, 9-2-3’s Founder, Helen Wright was invited to speak as a panellist at ‘The Gender Pay Gap and Beyond’. The event was a brilliant, insightful look at the gender pay gap from all angles. It was hosted by Understanding Society, the largest longitudinal study of its kind, which provides crucial information for researchers and policymakers on the changes and stability of people's lives in the UK.   
Helen attended alongside a host of inspiring speakers, from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, The Fawcett Society and University of Oxford’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Discussions looked at: employer responses and behaviours to the gender pay; how can we encourage more flexible working? How can greater employer or sectoral ownership be encouraged? It was fantastic to be involved, and you can find out more here.
Coming soon… Helen also recorded a fantastic podcast with Fran Bennett (active member of Women’s Budget Group, and Senior Research and Teaching Fellow at Oxford University) and Sam Smethers (Director of the Fawcett Society). We’ll share the link once we have it!
7 November 2018

Helen records podcast on the gender pay gap

Helen records podcast on the gender pay gap

Flexibly Speaking: 9-2-3 launch their first podcast
As a business, how do you deal with flexible working requests? Are you worried about ‘opening the floodgates?’ We’ve been working alongside the employment law team at Knights PLC, to put together a podcast aimed at helping businesses navigate their way through all these issues. ‘Flexibly Speaking’ is the first in a series of podcasts exploring flexible working from all angles. The first episode provides guidance, support and practical tips on ways managers can make flexible working a success for their business and their staff. The podcast is available to download. Look out for the second episode soon, featuring Gorvin’s solicitors. This time the focus is on employees who want to know their rights, and how to request flexible working.
2 November 2018

9-2-3’s Helen recording our first ‘Flexibly Speaking’ podcast with the employment law team at Knights PLC.

9-2-3’s Helen recording our first ‘Flexibly Speaking’ podcast with the employment law team at Knights PLC.

9-2-3 launch in Manchester
We’re thrilled to finally be up and running in Manchester. If you’re a professional looking for a flexible role, or if you would like to talk to us about finding the perfect candidates for your flexible business, please get in touch with Kat Higgins, who heads up our Manchester office.
8 October 2018

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National Flexible Working Day 2018
Thanks to everyone who supported the launch of our first ever National Flexible Working Day 2018 on 12th September. The day was a huge success, and has really helped to put the spotlight on flexible working: how to make it work, the benefits, and why now is the time to introduce flexibility in our workplaces. NFWD was featured on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Oxford, BBC Radio West Midlands, and BBC Radio Gloucestershire, plus local press. Your support across our social media channels was immense! #letsallflextogetherday was trending on Twitter, and high-profile flexible-working campaigners including Mother Pukka and Pregnant then Screwed, also gave us a shout-out! Thankyou!
12 September 2018

9-2-3’s Helen, with BBC Radio Oxford’s Kat Orman, talking about National Flexible Working Day.

9-2-3’s Helen, with BBC Radio Oxford’s Kat Orman, talking about National Flexible Working Day.