Belfast Telegraph

Healthy working balance a proven winner

By Anne McReynolds

The under representation of women at senior levels of the business world is just bad business - plain and simple.

Extensive research has shown that businesses that have a good gender balance at the top levels and include women in the big decisions are more sustainable and profitable.

These organisations make better and more rounded decisions, take a more successful approach to risk management and deliver a 45% higher return on equity in comparison to businesses that are run by men exclusively.

Some workplaces are hostile to the reality that after having had children (let's not even start about the politics around maternity leave) it is by and large women who carry out the lion's share of the subsequent caring responsibilities.

That isn't true of the workplaces I know in the arts sector in Northern Ireland and I can't say I have carried out more than my fair share of the wiping, feeding, shouting, hugging and loving in our house.

In fact I have leant heavily on two beloved others in the nurturing of my four children.

I have been able to balance the wonderful and demanding full-time job of being a mother with my other full-time job because of the huge amount of support I have received from the best husband and the best childminder (Betty – she deserves an award) any woman could hope to have.

Anyone who knows what they are talking about knows that being a working mother is difficult.

Spinning all those plates while simultaneously juggling all those balls is sometimes overwhelming but the rewards are immense.

I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to pull it off so far, but it never gets easier, the challenges just change as the kids get older.

And if anyone has any recipes for six that can be knocked together in 15 minutes, can you pass them on?

Jamie Oliver's concept of time is a bit different to mine.

  • Anne McReynolds is chief executive of Belfast's Mac Theatre

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