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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  • 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.

  • 03 January 2009 By Tanya Thomson Comments: 0
    Why Women Should Rule the World by Dee-Dee Myers

    This book by Clinton White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers sent our reviewer Tanya into a bit of a spin with its "serious-lite" tone. Its first two sections were fine, addressing why women don't rule the world and why they should. The third section - what to do about it - was where the apparently superficial treatment of a serious issue kicked in. Nevertheless, this 'well-researched and easy to read book' is one a lot of working women will relate to.

  • 30 November 2008 By Galia BarHava-Monteith Comments: 0
    The Secrets of Successful Working Mums

    Who are successful professional working mums and what makes them successful? These thoughts are highly personal and reflect what Galia BarHava-Monteith from Professionelle views as success. She reflects on the five common factors she has distilled from years of observations among working mothers.

  • 31 October 2008 By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes Comments: 0
    A Bridge Back to Work

    Many of our members at Professionelle are in full or part time work, or have crafted a self-employed role to flex around their commitments. We have a small minority, though, who have taken a break from work, often to be with their young families. When these women start exploring a return to work, they come up sharply against the challenge of a changed market place - and the challenge of believing in themselves.

  • 16 October 2008 By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes Comments: 0
    Working Mothers at the Top

    The old working mother conundrums: family and then career, or vice versa? How to make part time work career-enhancing rather than a dead end? The list goes on. At Professionelle, we have the wonderful resource of our community's collective wisdom to draw on as we wrestle with these big issues. We were delighted when Diana Simpson, one of our members who works for Chartered Accounting firm BDO, approached us with transcripts of interviews with all their female Partners, most of whom are also mothers.

  • 07 October 2008 By By Jennifer Mills, Partner, and Emma Warden, Senior Associate, of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.� Comments: 1
    Made Redundant On Parental Leave

    One of our members asked us what avenues were open to her after being made redundant while on maternity leave while the girl she trained in her position remained employed. We asked Emma Warden, Senior Associate, and Jennifer Mills, Partner, in Minter Ellison Rudd Watts' Employment Law Team for their views, and they provided us with the following in-depth analysis

  • 03 September 2008 By Victoria Carpenter of Polish Ltd, a Corporate Image and Presentation consulting firm Comments: 0
    Creating Career Confidence

    There is so much competition in the workplace, and career progression isn't solely dependent on how good you are at your job any more, but how you present yourself, how well you build new business relationships and how well you represent your organisation. Confidence is an ephemeral but critical quality in helping you achieve these goals. There is not one part of life that an increase in confidence doesn't benefit.

  • 26 May 2008 By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes Comments: 0
    7 Bites at the Work-Life Balance Elephant

    Work-life balance is a tough beast to deal with. Indeed, flexibility in work arrangements can be spelt another way, as many women know only too well: "c-a-r-e-e-r d-e-a-d e-n-d".At Professionelle, we disagree with a notion we sometimes hear, namely that work-life balance is a dead issue. We know it isn't because our members often tell us about their triumphs and struggles both little and large in this area.