It seems fitting this Mother's Day weekend that today's local profile is a mother amongst other things. One of my gripes is the difficulty that exists for many parents who want, or need, to return to work. I think there could be more structural change at both public and private sector levels to create meaningful, flexible and easy part-time employment options for parents returning to the workforce. I've often thought employers could take a more holistic and strategic approach to their business by creating 'banks' of their existing part-time parent workforce across their entire organisation - taking stock of skills, experience and qualifications already out there which, when combined, could create full-time equivalent job-sharing roles and more - retaining talent rather than having to bear the costs and hassle of training and hiring new staff.
But I digress...Gillian Ravlic has already seen a gap in the market, matching small to medium sized business employers with talented parent professionals wanting flexible work options and from there created her niche online service www.careerparents.com.au - read on for more.
Occupation: Director – Career Parents
How long have you lived/worked here? 8 years
Describe yourself/what you do:
Since leaving the professional workforce after the birth of my son, I have been a stay-at-home mum (and loving it)! I have swapped staff and budget meetings for playgroup, toddler time, music class and more...I have to admit though that I was disillusioned when I tried to return to my management position and found that my employer was not as 'flexible' and 'accommodating' as I had expected. I remember actually seeing my boss change before my eyes when I announced my pregnancy.
At playgroup I found a camaraderie with other mums and realised I was not the only one! Much to my surprise mums in other industries that I thought were family friendly - journalism, law, science, nursing, public relations, accounting and more - also had the same issues. The list was endless and no-one seemed immune. We all had higher degrees and careers we had worked hard for and now felt a bit conned in terms of believing we could have it all when it just wasn't working in reality.
We decided that as mothers we needed to take matters into our own hands and try to make a difference – thus Career Parents was born. This website is a free resource designed to help connect professional parents with small businesses that have genuine family friendly work. If you are a local parent or small business then you need to have a look!
Best thing(s) about living/working in Melbourne's north-east: Fantastic vibe, friendly people, great services for children, lots of parks and the Mercy hospital just down the road.
For more information: