Blog: Balancing motherhood with an events career

C&IT speaks to Fiona Batten, general manager Australia, cievents, on juggling a career in the events industry with being a full time mother.

Fiona Batten
Fiona Batten

The ultimate question we are likely to face as mothers is how to find that delicate balance between family, children and a career. It’s a challenging decision but if you love what you do, you’ll find a way and make it work.

As any mother who has found herself in this position will tell you, leaving a child to recommit to a demanding career is a difficult choice, and a battle which I myself have had to face. Confronted by the decision of wanting to have children and start a family but not wanting to lose momentum in a career has, at times, left me torn.

But why should we have to choose? Surely mothers should be able to spend quality time with their children and have an active role in bringing them up, but at the same time have a career, acting as a role model by showing them that following their career path and passion is also an option.

With 82% of the events industry made up of women I know I am not alone in my fight. Working in this industry is tough – yes, our hours are long and our schedules can be exhausting – but ultimately, we love what we do and so the key is finding what works for you.

As mothers we need to be smart with time management and know the difference between what meetings we need to attend and those we don’t. In this modern era with technology so readily available, we are more connected than ever, opening up endless possibilities, including the ability to work remotely and adding that all important element of flexibility to our lives.

I have been lucky to have an incredible company behind me which has supported me in my journey through motherhood and beyond. Whilst it is possible of course to juggle both motherhood and a career without the full support of a business – and I know that many have to – there are many ways businesses can provide support.

cievents has a fantastic culture, actively encouraging employees to remain flexible within their working lives. A range of initiatives ensure that work life balance is achievable for everyone and includes; ci-flex, flexible work hours allowing for personal endeavours, whether that be a yoga class, a run on the beach, coffee with a friend, childcare, school drop-offs or pickups; ci-Summer, allowing staff to work summer hours, shorter days or less days during the week and; ci-me, giving all staff members a day off for their birthday, to celebrate and spend time with family and friends.

With such great incentives, allowing all employees to plan their work lives around their personal lives, it is unsurprising that cievents has such a high retention rate, currently sitting at 85.05%.  Businesses who want to retain staff should really consider how they can provide this important support to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Now my children are older, you would think that I have more freedom, unfortunately that is not the case. The truth is, family time never stops, just because I’m no longer changing nappies doesn’t mean that we don’t need to spend that quality time together. I think sometimes businesses can forget this, and whilst I don’t mean that businesses should expect less from their employees, I think there needs to be an understanding of what is needed to support their personal lives and hopefully these conversations will become more and more common.

See more cievents:

C&IT A List: Jaime Mistry, cievents

Cievents opens office in Mexico

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