My family and my work
I’m an Australian-born mother of two: Mason (two years) and Mia (seven months). My husband and I moved to Singapore over five years ago as a newly married couple looking for a new experience. I currently work as a business and change manager, which involves ensuring that the bank complies with the customer due diligence standards that apply in our markets.
I wanted to come back
I always knew that I wanted to return to work on a part-time basis after giving birth so, after Mason came along, I used remaining maternity and annual leave entitlements to work a shorter week. This meant that my manager, my team and I were able to try out informally if flexible working was an option for me. When we found that it worked for everyone, we made it a formal arrangement.
"Not all companies in Singapore would consider hiring someone on a flexible basis. Changing mindsets will take time"
Best of both worlds
Part-time work enables me to continue to advance in my career, while being a full-time, hands-on mother. The best part is that I can take my kids on various outings and play dates during what would be a ‘typical’ work day, while helping to get important initiatives rolled out within the bank on the other days.
Attitudes are changing
Not all companies in Singapore would consider hiring someone on a flexible basis, and some people may assume I am less ambitious than everyone else because I work part time, which is certainly not the case. Changing mindsets will take time. As flexible working becomes more common, I believe perceptions will change. At this stage in my life and career, flexible working is important to me. The fact that Standard Chartered allows me to work in this way is great – I wouldn’t want to work for a company that didn’t.
How we make it work
Flexibility works both ways: I often move my working days around so that I can attend important meetings with my team on days when I am not supposed to be working. My arrangement works well because I am in constant dialogue with my manager and wider team about what needs to be done. Good communication takes effort, but it’s worth it to make flexible working a real success.