Monique Carty, high-flying working mum

Name: Monique Carty
Age: 31
Children: A daughter
Relationship status: Single
Job title: Director

How long was your maternity leave?
I wasn’t working when I fell pregnant

What was the main reason you decided to go back to work after having
your child?

To build a career and a future for us both

Do you work full-time or flexible hours?
Now I work full time, 9-5pm, but for my previous employer, when my daughter was younger, I worked 10.30-6pm.

How does this fit in with your home life?
Now my daughter is older it is fine as I am home about the same time as she is. When she was younger it was a constant struggle. I used to take her to school, travel into London, work through my lunch and then finish at 6pm. I used to arrive home no earlier than 7.30pm.

What support do you use to make working a bit easier?
I am lucky to have my daughter’s aunt living in the same street and she stays there when I have to go away on business.

How does your child/children react to you working?

Me working basically tied in with my daughter going to school full time so she adapted quite quickly. I also started off only doing three days a week and gradually increased it to four and then to five days.

Do you think the government does enough for working parents?
I think that the government should pay family members for child minding. I was lucky enough to have family to help with child care so even though I did not pay them as much as a child minder I still had to pay them out of my own pocket which was a struggle to begin with.

Does your daughter’s dad do his fair share with childcare, or is the ‘burden’ mainly yours?
The burden is all mine now but I do think that going back to work was a contributing factor my relationship breakdown. I felt that everything was on my shoulders and chores were not distributed fairly.

Any high points when you felt that being a working mum is worth it?
I recently took my daughter to Australia. When I think back to when she
was a toddler and I struggled to get the money together for a weekend at
Pontins it all seems worth it.

Have there been moments when you have thought about giving up your

There was a moment when I was made redundant from a PR agency I worked for. I didn’t think another PR company would take me on flexible hours and nearly gave up.

Do you think you are treated differently at work because you are a mother?
There have been times in the past that I felt I was always compromising either work or my daughter. I felt that I was at a disadvantage because couldn’t put the hours in and wasn’t respected as much as other people in my position.

Have you missed out on promotions because you are a mum?

I was lucky to work for two women, one of which had a child and were sympathetic to any
problems I may have had. However I do feel that the single girls did? have an unspoken advantage. To begin with I was part time and though my days were upped it was taken for granted that I wanted to carry on with my role as it was rather than progress up the ranks.

Do you think there is a glass ceiling in the workplace for working mums?
I can see that there might be and in some cases and somtimes with good reason. As a working mum you need to show commitment to your work and not flit off to be with your children every chance you get. You need a good support system in case things go wrong.

What makes being a working mum work for you – tips and advice for other
working mums.

If you are happy, your children are happy and working gives you an identity, confidence and independence. I get a buzz that I am setting a good example to my daughter and teaching her to be a strong, successful woman in her own right.

Get a good support system around you. That way, if you need to work late, there is somebody you can call on for help.

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