[Skip to content]

FM World logo
Text Size: A A A
24 March 2019
View the latest issue of FM
Sign up to Facilitate Daily >
ADVERTISEMENT
FM World daily e-newsletter logo
ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT
.

LIVE YOUR LIFE UNLABELLED

Simi Gandhi Whittaker
Simi Gandhi-Whittaker

Related articles

Read Jackie Furey on preventing 'karoshi' here 

Read Clare Parkinson on widening the gender pay gap here

Read Julie Kortens on FM and social responsibility here


4 March 2019 Simi Gandhi-Whittaker


Simi Gandhi-Whitaker says companies should do more to improve work-life balance for working mothers. 


Nevertheless, since the birth of my first child I have become even more determined to live unlabelled. Juggling mum and work life with more sleepless nights, I am impatient to get on, pursuing a successful career, supporting others in my position, and being a positive role model to my little girl and the women who come after me.


When I returned to EMCOR UK after maternity leave I asked for a flexible contract with compressed hours, which the company happily granted. But I’ve met many wonderful career mums who were surprised – a shocking eye-opener that my set-up isn’t the norm. 


Many working mothers I’ve spoken to end up employed on reduced-hours contracts, with commensurably less pay, but end up working full-time to achieve career demands. 

Juggling career and family life can be problematic, resulting in feeling guilty about not spending enough quality time with children. No wonder many women burn out and choose to be full-time parents instead. 


While I’m grateful to work for a company that takes family-friendly benefits seriously, I refuse to feel lucky – surely this is my right? Wouldn’t any forward-thinking business want to attract the best talent and do the best for their staff? 


Employers need to allow us all to work effectively and efficiently without compromising the work-life balance. My daughter’s birth has made this long-running debate feel ‘real’ to me. More must be done if our children’s generation is to escape being defined as a label and the discouraging expectations that can still restrict their mothers’ career opportunities. 


Simi Gandhi-Whitaker is work winning director at EMCOR UK