Andrea Mara

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Working Mothers & Women In The Workplace

Andrea Mara

Everyone’s a critic . . .

We were talking about Mother’s Day recently (I suspect I was reminding my kids how much I like lie-ins, breakfast in bed, and lunch in nice restaurants, or just anywhere that doesn’t involve cooking it myself) and one of the kids asked when Children’s Day is. “Every day is Children’s Day!”

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Andrea Mara

What is Imposter Syndrome and how do you shush that voice?

“We want you to be branch manager.” I hung up the phone, those out-of-the-blue words still ringing in my ears. It was 2006, and my department was being outsourced to another financial services company. And now apparently they needed a branch manager. I was thrilled – for a whole millisecond.

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Andrea Mara

Pivot

Pivot. I like that word. It makes me think of a dancer, or a gymnast turning to the next move in a routine. I was never a dancer, but I did harbour gymnast dreams once upon a time – first, Olympic dreams (because why not, and because I was six),

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G.U.I.L.T.

Guilt is something that used to preoccupy me greatly when I worked full-time – how long they were commuting and in crèche each week (55 hours, burned on my brain), how little time we had together each evening, and how rushed our mornings were. And most of my guilt surrounded

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Andrea Mara

Gah

I read an anecdote on Twitter recently about a little boy who asked a face-painter for a butterfly. His mother wouldn’t let him have a butterfly – she wanted something more “boyish”. The child really wanted the butterfly, but the dad got involved too, and there was no way they were

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Andrea Mara

What children can learn from watching us work

55 hours. That was the figure that went around and around in my head when I went back to work after having my first baby. Between commuting and time in crèche, she was out of the house every day for 11 hours, or 55 hours a week. In practice, everything

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Andrea Mara

Motherhood and Feminism and Being Let Down

Has motherhood been let down by feminism? I was sent this article today and it brings up some really interesting points. The person who sent me the link told me she misses her career, but knows she’d miss her kids more if she was working full-time, so she’s staying at

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Changing Culture and Sliding Doors

Watching an episode of Mad Men recently, I found myself feeling every inch of what was taking place on screen. It wasn’t about drinking Bourbon in the office and it wasn’t about everyday sexism – it was about an office move. (For anyone who is still watching Mad Men, there are

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I have a question

If you’re reading this, and you have children, do you work fewer hours per day or days per week than your partner? And if so, do you do that because you want to, or because you feel you’ve been forced to? I’m reading an article in the Independent this morning,

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Andrea Mara

The Big Message in The Big Short

I remember standing in Oasis with my sister in August 2008, looking at a shirt-dress that I really liked. I put it back on the rail. “There’s a recession coming,” I said to my sister. She had heard the same. We didn’t take it too seriously though, how bad could

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Why Aren’t Men Taking Parental Leave?

Only 1% of UK fathers are taking up shared parental leave, one year after it was introduced, according to news reports this week. Parents get 50 weeks between them, to share however they see fit, but the take-up by dads has been abysmally low. There are no similar statistics here in

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Andrea Mara

Flexible work – what are the options and which one is for you?

Imagine a world where there’s no five-day work-week. Where employees choose their hours, depending on what’s required of them. Where employers can rely on the job being done, regardless of where staff are based, or how long they spend working. Where parents spend more time with kids. Where carers in every

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Girls Can Drive Trains Too

Playing Duplo trains with my three-year-old last week, we had a crisis. We couldn’t find the train driver. I picked up the girl who came with the set and put her in the driver’s seat. My little boy took her back out. “No, she is a girl – she can’t

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Andrea Mara

Working To Pay For Childcare

Would you consider working just to cover the cost of childcare? According to a recently released EU-wide study, that’s exactly what huge numbers of Irish women are doing. The researchers used a “Participation Tax Rate” (PTR) to see what percentage of earnings are lost through tax, loss of social welfare benefits, and childcare

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I Know How She Does It

“Stop complaining working mums, you’ve got it good!” was the headline on one of a number of recent articles about Laura Vanderkam’s book I Know How She Does It. The headlines are provocative, and message in the book is prompting mixed reactions from working mothers. For anyone struggling to keep it all together,

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Andrea Mara

A Little Girl’s View on Women Who Work

“Because dads have harder jobs than mums,” announced my seven-year-old, stopping me in my tracks, as we pulled into the playground. She was chatting about summer and playdates and conversations she’d been having with friends in school about seeing each other over the holidays. She’d worked out that one of

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Out of the Office by the End of the Week

I’ve published 53 interviews with women about balancing work and home, and I’ve written dozens of posts about women in the workplace, but I haven’t said much recently about my own job. I do have an update though – after seventeen years in the funds industry, six jobs, eight bosses, and

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The Kids Are Alright

Are our families being damaged by the non-stop commuting lives we lead? Or are children with two employed parents doing OK after all? The media gives us conflicting answers to this – often on a daily basis. Most recently, there’s are reports of a study that showing that children in families

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Andrea Mara

Never Enough

It’s 8.30. The kids are finally in bed. Emmie will be down in a few minutes, to say her water glass isn’t full enough or she had a bad dream while she was awake, or her nose is itchy. I’ll kiss her again and in the same breath, I’ll ask

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