“Where are the women leaders?”
Back in 1999 (last millennium!), I was at an internal training day chatting with one of the other female delegates between the end of the presentations and dinner…
We were trying to figure out how many women we knew of in our company that were on the higher rungs of the career ladder – how many were ‘black book’ (- they’d reached the pay grade where you were entitled to a company car and other benefits).
It didn’t take us long to exhaust our list of one or two…! and it didn’t take us long to figure out (as far as we knew anyway), they were all single and child-free (less?)
A few years later, as a team leader with two young children I explored the possibility of working part-time in order to spend a little more time with my children…
My husband was worried I’d never get promoted again(!)
My line manager was worried that was the end of my personal development(!)
We did not know anyone in my company at that time (in the UK) who was combining leading a team and working part-time.
Luckily I spoke with someone from the HR department (thank you Diane!) who thought it was definitely possible and found me one(!) other team leader in the same position. We met and she told me how brilliant it was to have Fridays off to focus on her children – I was sold!
I am so glad I took the decision to put the time with my children ahead of my concerns about work and enjoyed 5 years of working part-time while my children were young
– and got promoted to ‘black book’ while working part-time ;)
17 years on: Where are the women leaders?
Fast forward to 2016 and this all seems like ancient history until at a women’s leadership conference (in the UK), I noticed that one of the delegates had asked the question:
“Has anyone working part-time ever received a promotion……?”
What is your experience of juggling family and leadership? Let me know by adding your comments below..
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