Soapbox: Pregnant Pause

15 August 2007

In SM’s latest Soapbox article, Martin Blake, head of corporate procurement at London Probation, argues the struggle to achieve work/life balance is not solely the preserve of women.

"My career has been affected just as much as a woman's. I was a retail manager at the time and couldn't just turn up late. So I moved into the public sector where the concept of a work/life balance was more readily acceptable.

It's potentially hindered my career (I quite fancy broadening my experience with global procurement but that's not going to happen for a while with the kids at school), but I get to be a responsible father and, hopefully, role model to my wonderful children. That's a decision I took to balance my divergent responsibilities as husband, father and manager, although it's certainly not an easy ride.

Maybe women have more control than they think. Rather than trying to convince an employer or industry that it's got to change its ways, start at home by managing your own expectations. Challenge your partner on their role and any inequities in your relationship. Accept that both your careers may plateau (you may even have to find a more understanding employer) while you seek an acceptable work/life balance."

Do you agree with his views?

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