Working mothers: Urgent need for a change in employer attitudes

I wanted to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to SCREEEEEEEAM at Lesley Nash, managing director of Changework Now, and her appalling attitude to working mothers (Personnel Today, 13 March).

As a working mother of two children under 11, I am frankly insulted at her suggestions that my work is not of primary importance and that, as a mother, I must therefore be unwilling and unable to get the job done. While at home, I am a mother. While at work, I am the HR manager for a business unit comprising 310 employees. My children have excellent childcare and I have a husband in a senior position at a blue-chip company who shares the responsibility of childcare with me.

I manage to I do a full-time job in four days, so don’t tell me I’m privileged. Like most working mums, I just work bloody hard.

How dare Nash accuse me of having more time off sick than colleagues with no children. I never take time off sick and if my children are poorly I make arrangements with family and friends to take care of them. I don’t feel this makes me less of a mother either.

I get the job done in less time than some of my colleagues as I always work through lunch, and whenever possible I come in early and stay late. I log on to my e-mail every evening and weekend to ensure there are no urgent issues to be dealt with, and my work mobile phone is on 24/7.

Providing people have the right attitude towards their role and take pride in their work, I think it is entirely offensive to assume that any working women who happen to have small children cannot make a valuable contribution to business.

I shall now step down off my soapbox and get on with some work.

Caroline Joy, HR manager, Emcor Facilities Services

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