March 7th, 2022
In honour of International Women’s Day, we thought it only right to hear the experiences of our women here at ACS. So we caught up with our Head of Sales, Martine, to find out how she balances such a demanding job with being a working Mum.
It’s fair to say from an early age I loved the subject of business studies in education and knew at 16 I wanted to be a business lady, but what type I wasn’t sure. Business, numbers, and researching how companies run and work was my passion. After my degree in Business Studies, I then started on the career path working my butt off and up the ladder. Fast forward to 29 years of age I left my pretty successful job in middle management, for a six-month break of maternity leave.
Thinking back now, I could have had more time off. But I do remember my boss calling me a few times, asking me when I would return as was needed back. So, at 4 months old my daughter went in nursery while I went back earlier than planned - 4 full days a week. I wanted to keep my career on track, I loved my job and wanted to keep the lifestyle we had. Thinking back, I did feel pressure to keep the job and career I had built up. Maternity leave can feel lonely and a confidence knocker with new motherhood emotions to deal with and understand. But yes, I did feel guilty as my little bundle of joy was still young, but it also felt great again to be back at work.
A good nursery is the key, our local one was fantastic for both my children. (My eldest, who is in year 11 now, is still best friends with two of the girls she met in the baby room). Amazing grandparents made this possible and together we made it work well. The balancing and juggling became a daily battle and is still, with our busy lives, something we have to deal with from time to time. But fast forward again, 2 children and 2 dogs later. I have made it through the other side with my amazing family, and work life balance is now much easier with my young ladies becoming teens.
Being a role model to my kids and showing you can be successful is something I would aspire to be. Albeit it is a skill, and I am sure each woman has their own ways of coping. Guilt, pressure, failure, mental and physical fatigue are all words I think can play on your mind. Missing the junior assemblies, running late to after school club, getting stuck on the M62 for nursery pick up. But I think having a support network helps. My husband has always been so supportive of my career, and my parents have been pivotal in my daughter’s lives, which is something I treasure.
My children are now turning into amazing little ladies, and I am so proud. I want them to feel inspired by my working career and know they understand the importance of being independent and driven. My oldest is 15 years old now and is a top student in her Business Studies class. She wants to become a successful business lady and run her own business. It makes me so proud to see her going into college to study her A levels.
2022 in my eyes looks a lot more equal out there in the working environment. Technology has really helped - the ability to take a call in the car on my commute into work and on the journey home. I know many ladies who, after being successful with motherhood and working, are now juggling menopause with their career, which is unfortunately another challenge for us females. At ACS we have an even split of management between men and women, we also have 2 women on the board. Therefore, I don’t feel I am looked at differently to my male colleagues where I work. Although I do want to be able to play a game of golf with my colleagues one day and must retake my golfing lessons.
Compartmentalise your day, work and home - keep them separate
Do a job you love – simple as that
Ask for help
Take time out – thinking space
Keep talking – no one is perfect