Finding the balance - Flexible Working at Pinsent Masons
I have been at Pinsent Masons for most of my working life. I started as a trainee in 2011 and qualified into the Pensions team in 2013. Since then, I have undergone many changes in my personal life which have impacted my work life but I have found the firm to be nothing but supportive in helping to manage these transitions.
In 2015, I made a slight career switch into the trustee subsidiary of the firm, Trustee Solutions Limited (TSL) and have worked there ever since. At the time, the opportunity arose for me to move to London and work from the London office. A few years after joining TSL, I had two spells of maternity leave.
My manager in TSL was extremely supportive despite me having pretty much back-to-back pregnancies. I was never made to feel guilty or under pressure to return to work. I returned in 2020 at the height of the pandemic and was able to gradually ease back in with a flexible working routine to fit around my childcare options, which at that point were fairly limited as our nursery had closed.
Once our nursery had reopened, I went back to work on a part-time basis working three days a week with some evenings. This arrangement really suits us as a family as before my children went to school, I was able to spend quality time with them on my non-working days and now they are at school, I am able to spend some time on myself (as well as the never-ending housework!) and pursue one of my passions which is writing. I was delighted to publish my first book in 2022, a Christian devotional book for new mothers entitled ‘Meditations for Mothers.' I wrote this book whilst I was on maternity leave and look forward to writing again.
I am pleased with my current work life balance although it does require a lot of planning ahead. Having only 3 office days to get my work done means the days are extremely busy and most meetings tend to happen on those days. However, I am fortunate to be part of a great team and we have arranged workloads to ensure that service levels for our clients remain high and no one is overwhelmed or overloaded with work. Clients are also aware of my working arrangement and this has not caused any issues. Many of our clients and contacts also work part time so they understand the need for a little flexibility.
Working part-time has had little impact on my career progression. Despite having two years out on maternity leave, I have been able to progress and was recently made a Trustee Director of TSL. I also have regular discussions with my manager about further career development and can see that working part-time is not a barrier to this. Women often bear the domestic responsibilities at home and adding childcare to this can lead to burnout and high stress levels.
It's really encouraging to be part of a firm that supports flexible working and part-time working. It has allowed me to manage my home life much more easily but still maintain my career goals and reach my potential.