I'm also in a client facing environment, and sometime it's the client who isn't willing to flex. If they are paying a huge daily / hourly rate, they want someone who is available to them when they need them - full stop.
Clients with whom you have a pre existing relationship may be more flexible, but not if you're new.
This was over 10 years ago so it's hopefully different now. Back then men could proudly talk about their kids but female partners almost hid that they had kids because the next question was "who is looking after them".
My career definitely came to a bit of a stand still after DD2 was born. I found I could advance up the ladder with 1 child (I could work full time with 1), but returning from mat leave with 2 kids was hell. They weren't flexible with part time hours, and because of the environment I worked in, I couldn't fight it as people were losing their jobs left right and centre.
We went through about a month of both kids being sick all the time and even juggling the time off with my husband, it caused a lot of issues for me at work. Not just from management, but co workers too.
A promotion opportunity came up which I applied for and it was discussed in the room of the panel (I have a close friend within the group) that I have kids. Which I find pretty crap but what can you do. I can see if from their side, sure I may be perfect for the role as far as experience goes, but if they need someone pretty much on call I can't commit to that. So I feel I'm kind of stuck in the same type of roll until both kids are in full time school and a little more independent. I wish it could be challenged more but I think a lot of people are mindful of the market at the moment so no one wants to cause any waves.
I have also seen a lot of redundancies lately and funnily enough, all women with kids.... a lot while on mat leave and their position is "no longer required". Yet someone still occupies that position, it just coincidentally has a new name now with slightly different (VERY slight) responsibilities
IMO we will only get equality between working parents if we all have the same entitlements in terms of parental/maternity leave. Then an employer wouldn’t think twice about whether to employ a female or male since both gender bear the “risk” of being absent. In turn this should help with fair salaries and no gender gap.
And what can we do, in our daily lives, to change society? I believe we need to walk the talk. Get our partners to be as present in our kids’ lives as we are. Get both parents to be working equally at home. We are all raising the next generation of managers/directors/business owners etc.
But they are good companies out there. Great companies actually.
I know one that just gave a second 14 wks fully paid maternity leave entitlement to an employee who has been away from the business for the last 18 months. She went on mat leave, planning to return after a year then she got pregnant again. Given that she was on unpaid leave, said company didn’t have to pay another lot of maternity leave but they did.
I know another who lets you work 75% of your agreed hours for the first month following your return to work while paying you 100%. Also pays 6 months full salary to the primary carer and 3 months to the secondary carer.
Welcome back @Anjalee!
Little Miss Sunshine (20-04-2016)
An article about a male dominated business who turned to women for help with huge success! http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-0...profit/7310450
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