Balancing motherhood and work can be difficult, but it is possible. The support of the employer is a key factor. Ensuring flexibility, understanding and empathy are also important.
Meet three mums working at Nokia’s Technology Centre in Kraków. See what challenges they face on a daily basis, what their comeback to work after maternity leave was like and what facilities Nokia provides for mothers.
Meet Natalia, who changed the profession during a pandemic, being a mom of two.
I am a mum of two. I have changed my career and got a job at Nokia after graduating from the Nokia Academy.
During Academy, I had to combine my studies with regular work and home duties. The first thing that surprised me the most among the many benefits was the flexibility I had never experienced before. I can decide what time to start work. I work remotely, which helped a lot during the pandemic.
When the nurseries closed and I decided to take on childcare, I was met with incredible understanding from the team. I also never had a problem leaving work when I needed to go to the doctor with my child. I get along very well with my colleagues in the team and I think this is key to working well and calmly. When needed, we share tasks. There have been times when I have worked with my daughter on my lap (and accidentally switched on the microphone in a meeting), or in the late afternoon listening to an overdue training session while picking up my son from nursery school.
As a working mum of two young children, I have difficult moments and various unexpected situations occur. So far, all have been solved with the full support of my employer. Nokia understands the needs of children and working parents not only in official documents. The support can be seen in daily work and the mindset of co-workers.
Meet Ania, who went from being a programmer to leading a team of programmers.
I have come back to work after a more than three-year career break.
When I came back, as a mother of two, I was assigned to a new project, which required a complete change in the way I worked and how I organized my work. Moreover, the new project required me to be further educated in the new C++ standard and the new functionalities in the LTE standard.
I received support from a mentor to familiarize me with the project. As an experienced employee I was able to work from home when needed. As a mum I did not have to take overtime when the need came up in the project. If I wanted to support the team with extra work I could do it at a time and place that was comfortable for me.
Due to big changes in my life, a desire to consciously raise my children and establish a healthy relationship with them, I have extended my interests to interpersonal communication and soft skills development. As a result, with the support of my manager, I have decided to change my career path, in which I could use both new and old skills. I went from being a programmer to leading a team of programmers.
Meet Ewa, who returned to her former duties straight after maternity leave
I have worked at Nokia for over six years and during that time I have given birth to both of my daughters.
Every time I went on maternity leave, I was stressed that when I came back nothing would be as it was before my leave. And I was completely wrong! After the birth of my first daughter and my return to work, I had a new Team Leader whom I had not known before. The support and trust from the manager and director of our center helped me a lot. I was given big projects, which made me feel that I was still doing a good job and that I was appreciated.
After my second pregnancy it was much easier, even though I returned to a new reality – remote work. I was given a big project again and basically went right back to my pre-leave duties.
The big plus of working at Nokia is that managers listen to the needs of employees. When I came back, I had a lot of conversations about what I wanted to do and I was actually assigned such responsibilities. With two children, I really appreciate the flexibility of work. There is no problem if I need to leave during the day or finish work earlier.