Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Working Life: Swings and Roundabouts with the Finance Director

It was great fun to start the long weekend hanging the park with one of my oldest friends, Alex. Our dads met at university so long ago that women were not allowed in... but somehow they managed to find our respective mothers and the rest is (now ancient) history.

Now Alex is Finance Director of Informa, a FTSE 100 information company. She is a mum of two and a dab-hand at scoping the best spots in the playground!

We grabbed coffees while Kiddo channelled Jackie O...

...not easy to juggle sunglasses, rabbit and still climb on the wobbly seat!

Alex was always the best at Abba dance routines when we were little, and as we grew up, this energy matured into a passion for triathlons and the Iron Man challenge. I was especially interested to hear how she kept her love of fitness alive alongside being mummy to a five year old son and two year old daughter.

We took our coffees and headed to the climbing frame, which kept the little ones distracted while we talked business. It quickly became clear that Alex has the daily routine sorted and uses sport as a way of getting the most out of her time. I especially admire how she draws her kids into her love of outdoor activities.

Working full time for a City-based company, and living in the suburbs, how do you organise your day?
"I drop my daughter off at nursery first, then take my son to school. I make this trip a power-walk, pushing my little girl in the buggy, and he scoots along beside me. Then, I either run to the train or I cycle into work - whichever way I go, it takes an hour although cycling means I'm not affected by delays on the district line!

I do miss having time to run and having that head space. Running used to give me time to reflect. But it's tricky to find time, there is always shed loads of washing to do!"

What does your company do to support working mums?
"Informa is empathetic to mums, and understands that fathers need to be involved too. It has introduced flexible working so work hours can be varied. I work one day a week at home.

Anyone can elect to be a homeworker, even if they don't have kids, and this can be done full time. It's quite radical. I have some colleagues I've never met! One of my colleagues has health problems that make him housebound. He has been with the company for 14 years, and now works from home. He's very hardworking. I've never met him but have regular contact with him.

I'm office-based but I take advantage of the flexibility offered, for example I can take time out during the day to go to a school play then make up the time later on. This flexibility means that mums, who may have had to go part time or have dropped out completely, are enabled to carry on working."

Any downsides to being a working mum?
"I don't feel the company could do any more than they do. I guess the worst thing is the other mums on the school run always look so glam!"

I wouldn't worry, Alex, I think you're holding your own ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment