This week’s entry into the Women And Work Series comes from Emma, an Administrator from the East Midlands.
If you missed the last post in the series where we spoke to Gillian, an Associate Director, you can catch up with it here.
Emma’s been juggling her career and family for a long time now and has some really interesting thoughts on the issues at hand, so let’s get straight into it with her comments.
Whereabouts in the UK are you and are you working at the moment?
I’m currently working part time as an Administrator in the East Midlands area.
Have you had to reconsider your career choices in the last five years?
Yes, almost daily!
Do you have any children and if so, how has
I have two children. I love them to bits but having them has definitely impacted on my career. Having made the decision to go part-time to save on childcare costs, I find my promotional scope has since reduced dramatically.
What do you think about the current situation for female employees with children?
I think it has got a lot better in recent years but honestly, there’s still a long way to go yet.
Have you ever experienced any hardships or challenges at work due to having children?
Yes. One employer told me that I needed to improve my child’s health because I had had to take a day off a few times when she was poorly. She was four years old at the time and needless to say I handed in my notice shortly after!
Do you think there’s currently enough support and understanding in the workplace for women who have children?
I think it largely depends on the organisation you work for. I’m very fortunate now to have a really understanding employer and one that actually champions flexible working around family, but I only wish this was more common in every workplace.
It is improving on the whole but again, we still have a long way to go.
Do you think there are equal opportunities for women to succeed in the workplace?
In my experience, yes. Thankfully there are more and more women now that are in high power positions, which is especially encouraging, but there are still some very archaic attitudes being banded about!
What are your thoughts on the gender pay gap issue?
It makes me rage! On a serious note, it is disgusting that it has been like it has for so long.
How has your attitude towards your work and career changed over the last five years?
My attitude has definitely changed dramatically since the birth of my second child. I no longer feel the need to be a people pleaser and sacrifice my quality of family life in order to further my career.
I still want to succeed in work life, but I’ve learned that life is too short to work yourself to the bone for a job that would replace you in a heartbeat.
I can empathise with a lot of the things Emma says here. What are your thoughts on her comments?
Do you feel that any of her experiences echo your own? I’d love to get your views on this topic.