An overview from our big ‘Back to Work’ event

Our fabulous Big ‘Back to Work’ event held at the Intercontinental Dubai Marina on 5 October 2016 was a huge success and we couldn’t be happier with all our 155 delegates and giving us great feedback on the day.  There was lots of useful advice all focused around helping mums return back to the workplace after a career break.  Here is an overview of the event;

Louise Karim, MD of Mums@Work (now Women@Work) opened with an introduction what the morning has in store for the attendees; “This event kick-starts our new monthly providing mums with all the tools they need to connect back with their chosen careers. We are here to guide, mentor and ensure that these women have the support, skills and confidence to get the jobs they want. We have gone to great lengths to make the transition from ‘Mum’ to ‘Career Mum’ as seamless as possible for this highly skilled and productive target audience.”

David Mackenzie, Founder of Women@Work and Mackenzie Jones Middle East talked about how Mums@Work was created and why it was a necessary initiative in the region.

David said; “We are working with some of the region’s biggest companies and successful SME’s to ensure roles benefit both the mums, through offering them the right choices and working hours, as well as the businesses, by providing them with a huge wealth of talent in the form of women who had successful careers, but took time off for their families.”

Our industry speakers embrace diversity and are advocates of the skills that mums can bring to the workplace. They spoke openly on a range of topics that help women make informed decisions when looking for a new role.

  • Emma Campbell (Middle East Regional People, Diversity and Inclusion Partner, PwC Middle East‘How to achieve balance’
  • Jennifer Marles-Malone (Head of Human Resources, Bayer Middle East) ‘Diversity in the Workplace’
  • Ayesha Karumbaya (Director, Edelman DABO‘Company culture, the right fit for you’

Our Q&A panel consisted of our industry speakers and was joined by Mona Ataya, Founder & CEO, mumzworld.com. Our mums wanted to find out how it really works internally and how to deal with visas and contracts in the region.

Jennifer Marles-Malone from Bayer Middle East said “It was amazing to see the engagement of the participants during the event. In the Middle East, we introduced an increased maternity leave offering in 2014. Since then all mothers returned to their workplace. As a company, we believe that cultural and gender-balanced teams are vital for our future competitiveness.”

Emma Campbell from PwC Middle East said: “Achieving balance is challenging for all of us, but particularly for mums returning to the workforce. PwC believes you can be fully committed to your family while having a rewarding career and we make this transition easier in a number of ways. We provide longer maternity leave to allow mums to spend quality time with their new child before returning to their careers, we offer part-time, full-time and contract roles, and all of our people can take advantage of our flexibility framework.”

We stopped for much-needed coffee and cakes and to network with other mums in the same boat, it can be very reassuring to chat with others in the same position! Feeling refreshed and full of beans, the afternoon was completed with Zeta Yarwood, Career and Life Coach and Helen Farmer, mummy blogger, The Mothership who have been big supporters of Mums@Work since our launch in April 2016.

Zeta gave an informative and entertaining talk on how to perfect your interview. The 3 P’s of power, preparation and personal branding was fabulous advice to get you in the mindset before what seems like a scary interview. Remember ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’!

Helen spoke frankly about the importance of normalising mums in the workplace. Her advice going back to work is;

  • Don’t expect things to be the same
  • Don’t underestimate yourself – and be patient
  • Get the right support
  • Celebrate your successes
  • Credit those that help you – be honest about it!

Helen quoted Caitlin Moran who states that mothers are by nature “superhumanly productive” and added, “Give a mother a sleeping child for an hour and she can achieve 10 times more than a childless person.”

Thank you to all that came and contributed to the day and can’t wait to roll out our monthly workshops. Please ensure you have registered and subscribed to our newsletter to receive early notification of our events!

Thank you to our partners Queens Beauty LoungeStyleSenseInterContinental Dubai MarinaUrban Energy FitnessTime Out Dubai – KidsJohnsonsHouse of CommsBounce,  Blossom Children’s Nursery. And a big thank you to Elfty Mackenzie, our photographer, for capturing the moment with the amazing pics!