Part-time Lawyer, full time Mum. Truly flexible working at Pinsent Masons

Jo Donnelly
June 7, 2023

I have been employed by Pinsent Masons since 2019, working 3 days a week as a Senior Associate in the Energy Property part of the D&I Team. I am separately employed by 3 young children on a 2 day per week basis…plus evenings and weekends with very different remuneration terms! I returned from maternity leave in September 2022 after baby number 3 and have been learning how to juggle my career with an extra little one over the last 8 months. Luckily, skills picked up in balancing the needs of 3 children also come in handy in balancing work commitments!

I feel fortunate that I work in an environment where my personal circumstances of working part time do not hold me back in terms of my career progression. 

Being a mother of 3 and the time constraints that that represents is not seen as a limiting factor to what I can contribute to the firm and our clients. The focus is on, what I can offer, rather than what I can’t.  I work primarily on large scale projects, and I have never felt overlooked or that I would not be instructed on work or otherwise held back because I don’t have 5 days a week to offer. I can achieve a lot in 3 days and Pinsent Masons understands that. 

Don’t get me wrong, some weeks work better than others! Some weeks require the occasional call on a non-working day which requires strategic muting to block out a toddler demanding more grapes or meetings on non-working days where necessary. 

But it does work. And I firmly believe that it can work for anyone. In my experience, it is a matter of a bit of give and take. My Partner, Rona Kostulin, understands and is supportive of my reasoning for working part time and equally I understand that certain clients, certain meetings, certain actions occasionally need a bit of time outside my 3 working days. That is my choice in order for me to feel that things keep running smoothly and Rona places no such expectation upon me.  I am happy to give that in order to be able to benefit from the 2 extra days at home spent with my little ones (and keeping the house in some sort of order!).

Pinsent Masons understand that employees have a life outside of work, be it children or any other responsibilities and commitments, as well as appreciating that there are benefits in offering part time employment. Part time work is an ongoing exercise in time management, workload management, management of client relationships and becoming a working parent, for me, has been an evolution in finding ways to increase efficiency, both at home and at work. These are key (and thoroughly tested!) skills that employers can benefit from.

Experienced, hardworking, efficient candidates could easily be overlooked by employers because they do not fit within the traditional ‘5 day week’ category of applicants, which does a disservice to those seeking a part time role but can also result in employers missing out on great candidates. 

I’m passing ‘the baton’ to Anushree Nene, Assistant Resource Manager. Look out for her blog and how flexibility supports her passion for art.  

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