Working Mums

First baby due! It's the best of times - but often the most challenging time for your career. None of us knows how we'll feel after the baby arrives or what work and family arrangements will suit us. Yet, once we go public, everyone starts asking!

Don't worry, in this theme we share advice and stories about options that others have tried. That includes how to make the return to work afterwards, sometimes after a career break.

At Professionelle we have a peak among members in their early thirties: the family formation years. It's no surprise. The solutions that "make it all work" both for parents and for employers could fairly be called a work-in-progress. And as the more experienced parents know, the issues change when children start school, but they don't go away. For example, did you know that school children still need 27 weeks a year of care during work hours? Yes, that's half a year!

Wherever you are on the work and family spectrum, we're sure you'll find relevant and thought-provoking material here. Choosing childcare, the different work models women use, how key pieces of legislation could affect you - and how to dress to cope with the new roles in your life - it's all in this theme.

Latest articles

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  • 08 December 2009 By Galia BarHava-Monteith Comments: 0
    Flexi-Dressing

    It's great to cover the lofty issues of how to get employees and employers cooperating properly to ensure enough flexibility to make it work for us working mothers. But let's not forget that the whole flexible work arrangement adds an extra dimension to the already perplexing question we are faced with every morning - 'what should I wear today?'!!!

  • 03 December 2009 By Jayne Muller, Altris Comments: 0
    Returning to Work in a Recession

    My current contract comes to an end in June and will not be renewed due to the current fiscal environment. I'm interested in how long it has taken other returning mothers to get back into the swing of the corporate /business environment? Have other people experienced inconsistent approaches to returning mothers' working arrangements?

  • 06 October 2009 By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes & Galia BarHava-Monteith Comments: 0
    Interview with Gill South: Because We're Worth It

    Gill South is a freelance writer in Auckland and also the mother of two young boys. Her first book, which she describes as a "Where To for Working Mothers" seeks to encourage all women who want to continue the careers and work roles they enjoy - after having children. You can choose to listen to our live interview with Gill in either the short or long version!

  • 02 September 2009 By Jayne Muller, Executive Coach & Director at Altris Ltd Comments: 0
    7 Top Tips for Mothers Returning to the Workforce

    At this time, when many mothers are thinking about going back to work, we turned to Jayne Muller, Executive Coach/Director, at Altris Ltd. Altris are a group of Executive Coaches who specialise in transition coaching. Altris conducted a New Zealand-based Women in Transition survey on this exact issue and have kindly provided Professionelle readers with their top seven tips and a successful case study.

  • 08 August 2009 By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes Comments: 0
    The R Word versus the F Word

    When the environment is full of threats, as it is right now, it's a natural instinct to hunker down. So is the F word (flexibility) losing out to the R word (recession)? A new US report delivered the verdict: flexibility is alive and well, claim employers. But do the employees agree? Do they even dare ask for flexible arrangements any more?

  • 27 May 2009 By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes Comments: 0
    Hot News & Views 2009

    Very often, thanks to our members, we get to hear about great sites, uplifting news and useful information for professional working women. Galia's researches for our new website and Sarah's venture into the world of Twitter have both revealed some real gems.

  • 24 March 2009 By Gil Vanture, translated by Galia BarHava-Monteith Comments: 1
    Employers - Opt For The Working Mum!

    A Hebrew-reading member alerted us to an affirming article by an Israeli psychologist, Gil Vantura, on the value of hiring working mums. Galia BarHava-Monteith translated the piece with Gil's approval. Whatever country you're in, if you're a new mum dealing with sometimes adverse comments of bosses and workers, you'll find some encouragement from this piece.

  • 01 March 2009 By Jennifer Mills, Partner, & Bridget Fleming, Senior Associate, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts Comments: 0
    Mamma Mia! A Woman's Way in the Working World

    The challenges facing working women in progressing to senior positions appear to have been made easier by recent amendments to employment law. One key amendment is the introduction of the Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding & Other Matters) Amendment Act 2008, which provides a statutory right to breaks and, where practicable, facilities for breastfeeding. A second is the Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act, which provides employees with the right to request flexible working arrangements to accommodate the care of any person.

  • 15 January 2009 By Julie Mulcahy and Debbie Knowles Comments: 0
    A Springboard to Success (and Sanity)

    They say what doesn't break you makes you stronger, but how many of us turn the lessons from our own tough times into a business? Julie Mulcahy and Debbie Knowles took their challenging experiences as the inspiration for Springboardnz, a broadly-targeted educational referral service. Here they share their story and explain how Springboardnz guides parents towards help for children who no longer seem to "fit" their schools, their families, and their lives.

  • 05 January 2009 By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes Comments: 2
    How Do You "Make it All Work?"

    We're fairly sure there's no silver bullet out there! Whether we're Gen Y, Gen X, Gen Jones or Boomers, we're all grappling with compromises as we try to stay sane yet also find work that interests and rewards us as professional women. Below we share the stories, experiences, tips and tricks our members sent in as part of our second birthday survey.