Believe me, I have never liked the sound of my own voice. Lurking in my parents’ loft somewhere is a box of cassette tapes from the 1980s, where my best friend and I are larking about pretending to be radio deejays. Just the thought of them makes me cringe so badly that I can’t bring myself to up there and get rid of them.
But this blog isn’t meant to be me yabbering on for the sake of it.
There are 4.9 million working mothers in the UK today. And that number is growing.
But how many jobs do you think are advertised as open to flexibility? Less than 10%.
In the UK last year, a third more young women went to UK universities than men.
Yet there are more men called David leading FTSE100 firms, than the total number of women CEOs.
This photo is my deejaying best friend and me on our way to our school prom. We’d worked hard, got our A-Levels and were off to uni, full of unbridled ambition.
Neither of us even considered that 15 years’ later we might struggle to find jobs because a young family and office jobs just don’t mix.
But times are changing.
After 8 months on maternity leave, I went back into a relatively senior job that I shared with someone I had never met until my first day back. It was fantastic. I loved being back at work, and I will forever be thankful for the opportunity my employer gave me.
After five years at the company, I thought it was time to explore my options outside the company. My son was about 18 months old so I had another 2 years before he went to school and another 10 years or so where I was going to need some kind of flexibility.
I phoned all the recruiters who’d helped find me jobs over the last 10 years or more and not one of them was able to help me when I mentioned the need for some kind of flexible working.
So I left and set up a recruitment business that helps working parents find jobs with employers who are open to a conversation about flexibility. The thing is, we are inundated with candidates and don’t have enough clients to help most of them.
But having done a job share and now because I am talking all the time to employers about flexible working, I have a fair bit of knowledge and a great network of knowledgeable people so I hope we can share what we know and hopefully help working mums like you, to stay in the careers you worked so hard to build before you had kids.
Founder of Careering into Motherhood
February 25, 2018