Recently we saw this article on The Guardian’s website about the Mums Enterprise Roadshow and, what with it being International Women’s Day, it got us thinking about being a contractor and a working mum, and what that means.
To return or not to return?
Many mum’s nearing the end of their maternity leave face something of a dilemma when it comes to returning to work. If you decide to return full-time, you have the excessive costs of full-time childcare to deal with. If you decide to return part-time or on a flexible basis, you may find your employer less amenable, and that’s if they accept your flexible working request at all.
For this reason, many highly skilled women end up in lower-paid or lower-skilled roles (if they return to work at all), simply because they want to fit work around family life and not the other way around.This, has the effect of leaving women less likely to progress in their original careers, as well as furthering the gender pay gap.
And while self-employment may seem like the obvious solution in terms of offering flexibility without taking a huge pay cut, many new mums don’t know where to start.
Mums Enterprise Roadshow
This is where the Mums Enterprise Roadshow comes in. Founded by former marketing manager Lindsey Fish and her friend Lucy Chaplin (now the business’s creative director), the Mums Enterprise Roadshow was born after Fish felt forced into leaving her child in full-time daycare in order to keep her career moving. Realising other new mums have exactly the same problem, the roadshow was set up to help mums re-train, find flexible working options or even start their own business.
Each event offers attendees the advice, support, training and networking opportunities women need to become a flexibly-working mum, without having to give up on career progression and income.
From the first event in Hertfordshire in 2016, Fish and Chaplin now want to grow the Mums Enterprise Roadshow into a nationally-recognised event, made up of 10 shows around the country each year, with free entry to each. This means mums across the UK have the opportunity to have a stable family life and develop their career without compromise.
Motherhood and contracting
At Kingsbridge, we’re forever extolling the virtues of contracting — flexible working and a higher hourly rate being just two of them. So it’s easy to see why more and more women are choosing self-employment after they become mothers.
Contracting allows you to dictate your own hours and rates, while still working within your area of expertise and continuing to keep developing your skills. You can even choose to only work during term times if that suits you and gives you the balance between work and family that most people crave. So, we think it’s worth taking time on International Women’s Day to think about all the amazing self-employed mums already out there and, hopefully, inspiring you to take the plunge yourself.
If you are a parent and contractor, it’s especially important to have the right contractor insurance in place to keep you financially secure. Call the expert team at Kingsbridge on 01242 808740 or browse our website. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.