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Meet Angela

“Mums probably get more done in a day than a lot of people get done in three"

Meet Angela – Associate Senior Interior Designer at Warren and Mahoney Architects

“Mums probably get more done in a day than a lot of people get done in three. We’re really driven. We’ve got a set amount of time and we just get on with it. And that is starting to become more valued and appreciated”

Coming back to work after having kids wasn’t a decision Angela made lightly. Still having time for her children’s extra activities and the school community was a top priority. She initially assumed her type of job wouldn’t allow for the work/life balance she needed. But as she discovered, times have changed.

After her third child, Angela started her own design consultancy consisting of both private and contract work which meant she could control the level of intensity and still be with her children in the school holidays. Taking the step into a permanent role after five years was one of apprehension. Traditionally in her industry, if you weren’t able to work full time, you weren’t doing your job properly. Angela needed to know that working part-time was an option.

I've got three quite small children so being able to have that part time availability through the week means that I have got time to do things with them, and also time for myself. I was determined that I was only going to work part- time and Warren and Mahoney have embraced that. They understand. Particularly the studio leader Hayley, as she is a mum of small children herself”

“I've got three quite small children so being able to have that part time availability through the week means that I have got time to do things with them, and also time for myself. I was determined that I was only going to work part- time and Warren and Mahoney have embraced that. They understand. Particularly the studio leader Hayley, as she is a mum of small children herself”

And it’s not just Angela who has this flexibility, half the interiors team are working part time hours. Angela says you’ve got to be happy at work, it’s all about being surround buy wonderful people and a supportive/collaborative culture.

Being open and honest is part of what makes Angela good at her job, with communication being of high importance too. Skills, she says, that she’s grown since becoming a mum. She communicates differently now and being transparent and available has made her a good leader.

 

The skills I've gained from having children have increased incredibly. My negotiation skills are much more relaxed with colleagues, clients and contractors who get a bit stroppy, they've really got nothing on a on three year-old having a tantrum in public”

 

“The skills I've gained from having children have increased incredibly. My negotiation skills are much more relaxed with colleagues, clients and contractors who get a bit stroppy, they've really got nothing on a on three year-old having a tantrum in public”

The working mum life is not without its challenges and Angela says the hardest thing about going back to work is the logistics of all the stuff behind-the-scenes. For example, if a child gets sick, you have to take a sick day. Angela counts her lucky stars she has a supportive partner and supportive family to help out.

Covid has also thrown some spanners, but Angela believes this is also the reason most companies are becoming more accepting of family friendly workplaces. People have proved that they don’t need to be in the office all the time to be productive.

Anglea's Message To Women

Angela’s message to women, especially mums who have been on a long break, is that although it takes a while to get back on your feet, you have to back yourself. Women are terrible at suffering from imposter syndrome that can debilitating at times. It’s also important that you get support, particularly from people in the industry you’re working in.

“I'm really lucky to have two mentors in my wider studio who I’ve previously worked with. They give me a pep talk, they support me and they're awesome. I'm very lucky to be surrounded by strong inspiring woman. It really is key”

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