Who am I? 

I had a brilliant night last night at the Ivy Club where I shared a platform with three spectacular women. The topic was an age old debate about whether women can have a successful career and a family. Crazy right. How can we still be having this debate in 2017. 

But it was fascinating to hear the experiences of Viv, Claudette, Julia, and the audience members. The themes that were discussed were on the whole nothing new. 

  • Employers pre-judging pregnant women and mothers and making future career decisions based on their ‘commitment’
  • Lack of flexibility 
  • Being evaluated on presenteeism rather than outcomes and impact
  • Women not being kind to each other and offering a hand up 
  • The stigma of being defined as a ‘mummy’

But despite all this, what was clear was the progress that has been made over the past 40 years. The experience of Claudette, who’s eldest is 44, is incredibly different to mine with a 15 month old. And this should be celebrated. The progress made should be applauded, but there should be no let up in demanding that businesses and society recognise the importance of women in the workplace and the impact working mums can have. 

Julia and Viv both work for themselves.  They’ve opted out of the traditional workplace and made a huge success of their careers and home life. This is increasingly an option more and more women are taking as it allows them to define their working patterns and be masters of their own destiny. 

My own experience has been nothing but positive. Why? Because I work for an incredibly progressive business. Because my husband is a real partner and shares the childcare responsibilities equally. Because I place value on what I achieve and the impact I have. Because I try to always be present when I’m at work, at home, or at play. 

It’s not always easy. But it’s worth it. I love work, I love being a mummy, and I do my best to live every moment of my life. 

As a senior business leader, my commitment is to do whatever I can to ensure that women (and men for that matter) have the tools and the confidence to blend careers and lives. No one in 2017 should have to choose between having a successful career and a fulfilled life.

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I’m a Red Soul Mama

People told me that becoming a mother would change me. I said it wouldn’t. At the time I believed it, because I didn’t want to change, I liked who I was and couldn’t see how becoming a mum could possibly change that. But I was wrong. It has, and in such a positive way. I’ve only been a mum for 12 weeks, but I will be it for the rest of my life and I’m sure every day with the new experiences will make me a better person. 
Now don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t changed my values. Work hard and play hard, be respectful and kind, try to make a difference in the world but have fun along the way. These are all still true. But I’m more focused. More determined. More empathetic. I’m more aware of what is going on around me, and where it is that I can make a small but significant difference. But I also see more clearly what is wrong with the world. The hatred. The intolerance. The inequality. The greed. The fact that too many are uneducated, in my own country as well as abroad. The top 1% have so much money they think they are untouchable, and they probably are. I see it clearly and I hate it. I hate what it does to our children and to their futures, no matter where they are born. 
So I’ve decided to start this blog. To put down on paper my thoughts and my views. To help me to make the right decisions for me, for my family, for my community. To offer a perspective, as a working mum, on equality, on work/life balance, on ‘having it all’. To rant about politics, here and internationally. To encourage people to forge their own path, to feel empowered to be what they can be and to leap over or runaround barriers. To talk about shoes, and bags and make-up, because I’m passionate about these things too. To showcase hobbies and sports for kids, but especially Baton Twirling, my sport that I have adored since I was 11. So all in all it will be a regular piece of thinking, sometimes a rant, sometimes a laugh, from RedRobertino the Red Soul Mama. I hope you enjoy it. And if not, don’t read it – life’s too short.