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Help needed from working mums!

(4 Posts)
MEDIA: MaddyRogers Thu 05-Sep-13 12:25:26

Dear Mumsnetters,

My name is Madeleine Rogers and I am currently studying Geography with Business at the University of Nottingham. I would love to include your views in my currents research. As part of my course in the next year I will be writing a dissertation entitled:

‘Does raising the next generation hinder the potential of Britain’s female workforce? The effect of having a family on working women’s careers’.

I hope to explore issues surrounding when to start a family, childcare choices, individual’s experience of their treatment in the workplace, attitudes to working mothers and how they are changing and managing work-life balance.

I have 5 main questions that you can either post your answers to or to just get the discussion going:

1.How did you juggle your work and childcare commitments, from maternity leave to now?

2.Did you notice a difference in the way you were treated in the workplace during this time? at child bearing age/pregnancy/return after children? In terms of new jobs, promotions, workload etc.

3.What have been the consequences of your choice for you personally, for your career, for your children, relationships etc?

4.What are your reasons for continuing your career whilst having children?

5.In the industry that you work or worked in, would you consider there to be a gender gap? If so what reasons would you attribute to this difference?

Thank you so much for taking the time to take part in this research and I hope you find the discussion and issues as interesting as I do!

Please note that anonymised quotes may be used in the final research. If you have any questions regarding this research, feel free to post or to email .

AndHarry Wed 25-Sep-13 21:53:58

I have two children: a 3 year-old son and a 10 month-old daughter.

1. I switched to working part-time once I returned to work from maternity leave after having DS. I still work the same number of hours but in a slightly different pattern now I also have DD.

2. My company as an organisation is quite good at maternity rights but some individuals within the company are less than understanding that my situation has changed and I now have to work my contracted hours only.

3. I do feel that it's positively affected my children and my relationship with my husband as I feel a lot more relaxed on days I'm not working after having had a break from childcare.
My previous manager used to get annoyed when I couldn't stay late at the office/go on overseas trips with no notice/rearrange my working hours to take on a different project. She did not understand that nursery hours are not flexible and I am not paid enough to employ a nanny. Consequently, I've missed out on training opportunities, been assigned less stretching projects and have had less time to 'get ahead' at work. My job could be a very interesting and highly-paid career but that's had to take a back seat while the children are small.

4. Lots of reasons. To retain some sort of financial independence within my marriage, to continue to have a sense of fulfilment and status that comes from having an interesting job, to give me time to think about something other than the children, to set an example of working to my children, to stop me going completely mad...

5. Not at my level but if I really wanted to push my job into a career I would need 100% flexibility to attend meetings around the world, work around the clock, take work home and change plans at a moment's notice, which isn't really possible with small children.

574ejones Fri 20-Sep-13 19:25:49

Hello Madeleine,

1. When I was pregnant with my first child, I knew that I would have to go back to work full time. I couldn't afford to stay home, and so employed a full time childminder in the same town where I worked. I went back to work after four months maternity leave. With the second, I put him in a nursery and went back six months. We "planned" the births so that the oldest would be just about starting school when we had the second, because child care is so expensive. I found it hardest to juggle work and childcare when the youngest started school - school times don't tie in with working hours, so I had to employ another childminder to fit around school. Now, both children are at secondary school, and I don't have any child care.

2. I work in local government and so am lucky that there are lots of policies in place for flexible working. The attitudes I encountered were positive.

3. I have not been able to pursue the career I wanted to have although I did need the flexibility that my current job gives during the primary school years. Only now that they are in secondary school, am I thinking about retraining.

4. I have had to work whilst having children, but I wouldn't have wanted not to work. I think I have a good work/life balance - I work four days now , one of which from home.

5. I don't believe there is a very big gender gap in my workplace. We have a lot of women managers and there are parental leave policies for both mothers and fathers.

Madrog7 Thu 05-Sep-13 14:46:10


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