Hello and welcome back to another instalment of Mama You Can, a series started to share inspirational stories of Mama’s who have changed career direction, started their own business or negotiated a more flexible role to fit in with family life.
This week we hear from Anette who runs her business Mothers & Careers which she set up when she realised there was a gap in the market for job boards promoting flexibility. Here is the story of Mothers & Careers and information on how you can find out more.
Mama You Can: Anette B van Blokland from Mothers & Careers
Hi, my name is Anette, I am the Founder of Mothers & Careers. I live in West London with my husband Gerard and our almost two-year-old son, Frans-Willem.
Mothers & Careers is a job site and job board specialising in flexible full time and part time jobs for ambitious, career-driven women. It is open to anyone to search and apply for jobs, however, the website is aimed at mothers who are struggling to juggle family life and careers. We would like to help mothers get the life-balance they are looking for, whether that is a full-time job with flexible working hours or location, a role working from home, a part-time job or a job share role. We are also trying to encourage women who are looking to get back to work after maternity leave or an extended career break to try a Returners Programme. We are currently promoting Returners Programmes for 2018 for companies like Deloitte and FDM Group.
Mothers & Careers was launched in 2017 when I realised there was a gap in the market for job boards promoting flexibility. After having worked for more than 10 years in the City of London, I went on maternity leave. I met many new mothers who were well-educated, ambitious career women, yet were worried how their old career with long working hours in the City would fit with their new family life. I quickly realised there is a gap in the market for jobs offering flexibility, whether that is in terms of hours or work location. I then got my business idea – setting up a job site that offers advice for mothers wanting to get back to work after a career break, combined with a great job board that lists proper, flexible job vacancies.
Our job seekers are ambitious, well-educated women with impressive career backgrounds in financial services, banking, management consulting, auditing, legal professions, creative industries and technology startups. They are looking for work that pays well, is challenging and interesting, in a work environment that supports work-life balance and family life.
We work with leading businesses and growing startups that value gender diversity and that have excellent work-life policies. The jobs they advertise are either full-time jobs with flexible hours or location (or working from home one or two days), or they are flexible part-time jobs, job share roles and anything in-between.
Why the focus on flexible working?
The old working style of “clocking in, clocking out” could soon be a relic of the past, as technology allows people to connect and work from anywhere at any time. Flexible working arrangements means better productivity and staff engagement, while enhancing health, happiness and work-life balance. Mothers & Careers believe all businesses should adopt flexible working, especially if they want to attract and retain top talent. This is especially true for the Millennial generation, they not only wants flexibility in their careers, but they expect it too.
We all know that having children can have an impact on a woman’s career. Whether a woman takes a short maternity leave or a longer career break, most mothers will have some time off when having a baby. Many women value flexibility when going back into the workplace, in order to deal with the practicalities of having young children.
According to the Institute of Leadership & Management, women continue to be under-represented at senior levels across UK plc, particularly in the UK banking sector. Barriers to progression for women are due to women opting out due to family commitments, lack of flexible working, lack of female role models and attitudes and culture in organisations. Many highly talented women are discouraged from reaching senior levels. I strongly believe that if more job opportunities offered some level of flexibility then we would be able to prevent women leaving their careers and ensure they return after a career break.
I believe you should not have to choose between a happy family life and a successful career. It is all about finding the right job for you at this stage in your life!
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*This is a collaborative post*