Hi Stephanie, tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do, how old are your children and what happens with your kids when you are at work?
I run my own recruitment business dedicated to career returners and those reigniting their careers. We specifically focus on working with businesses who are open to attracting back talent that is returning from a career break and with businesses who have a strong culture on embracing diversity and difference. We also provide coaching services to our returners to ensure that they are fully supported in their transition. And finally we run specific Return to Work programmes for corporates who want to run a returner programme but don’t have the resourcing capacity to run it themselves.
I have two children, a girl who is 9 and a son who is 6. Fortunately (unfortunately some days!?) they are super active children, so in the holidays they are very happy to pack the lunch box and head off to sports camps, play camps, craft camp, or whatever is on offer in our village! On the odd occasion where we are stuck we will call Grandma and Grandpa!
1. One word to describe how being a WoMo makes you feel?
2. What’s the funniest experience you have had juggling kids and work?
You know I really can’t think of a single thing that comes close to that interview on BBC with the Professor Dad and his kids who came in!!! That seriously had me in stitches and I watched it over and over! I have nothing to compete - a few interrupted phone calls and definitely some interrupted Skype interviews as well. Fortunately most of the women I interview also have young children so just laugh.
3. What is the one piece of advice you could offer another WoMo?
Ocado! Why make life difficult? Online supermarket shopping all the way!
4. What’s the least amount of sleep you’ve gone to work on and how did you cope?
We were seeing a sleep specialist for our daughter because at age 3 she still couldn’t sleep through the night and would be up anywhere from 4-8 times per night. How did I cope? I can’t remember! My husband and I were so sleep deprived for a good 5 years that we hardly even remember anything! Buckle down and muddle through was probably our coping strategy.
5. What have you learned about yourself as a WoMo?
I love to work. It’s so central to my being and my self-identity. It’s made me realise I have to have a great plan to ensure my career takes me well into my 60s and 70s!
6. If you had a working mother’s anthem or mantra, what would it be?
Motherhood is a marathon not a sprint.
7. What is your guilty pleasure to combat WoMo guilt the best?
……...Is it awful to say that I don’t really feel too guilty? But I’ll confess that after the madness of the end of the day and sorting everyone out I do often enjoy a nice glass of Rose and countless bars of Galaxy!
8. Would you rather be dealing with a tantrum or presenting in a board meeting?
A board meeting any day!
9. If you asked your child / children what your job is, what would they say (exact quotation if possible)?
Mum finds people a job.
10. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before you became a WoMo?
The importance of having a career plan. I’ve kind of just muddled my way through but hope I will be able to give my children some better strategic advice about parenthood and a career.
11. To date, what has been your best WoMo achievement?
Inclusivity is only a year and a half old but we have started working with top tier global brand leaders which I’m really proud of. And being able to find a great role for people who have been on a career break of many years is also really, really rewarding. One of our returners was away from her career 10 years so was absolutely thrilled when we found her a great role.
12. What do you want to teach your kids about working mothers?
Gosh I’ll start with the basics - we are people! We still have dreams and aspirations and goals we want to achieve, and that being a parent and still having these aspirations is entirely normal.