Our "March of Inspiring Mums" interview series celebrates women who are doing some amazing things, whether through business, a campaign or just being fabulous!
Our latest interview is with Sally Dhillon. Not just a mum to two girls (aged 13 and 9), she co-runs two businesses, which she says bridges the gap between parenting and work! help mums return to work.
She lives in Kenilworth, near Birmingham with her family and a chocolate labrador!
Today Sally shares with us how struggling to conceive her children led to an inadvertent career break when her daughters arrived but when she was ready to return to work she found it hard to find fulfilling jobs utilising her skills that were also flexible around her young family...this led to her setting up her own businesses as she recognised so many other mums were in a similar situation.
Tell me a little about yourself and how you got into the job you’re now doing?
Before children, I had a successful career in HR and my work evolved into becoming an executive coach. Creating our family became a ten year project due to fertility issues which interestingly enriched our lives and made us a stronger family.
I became a mostly stay at home with our two girls when they were young and then realised that my career had taken a significant knock. I struggled to see how I would be able to use my previous skills and experience in a stimulating role that fitted with school hours and term times.
I knew there were many other people in a similar situation but there didn’t seem to be any help or resources for mums like me. I met my business partner – a neighbour, who had also taken a career break and similarly felt frustrated and lost with employment opportunities. So we decided to do something about it by starting Career-Mums, a social enterprise, helping parents back to work after a career break as well as supporting and inspiring working parents in their careers.
CM Talent supports employers to attract, retain and develop more gender-diverse teams and to close their gender pay and leadership gaps. We do this through returner programmes, maternity and paternity coaching support and initiatives to develop more women leaders.
I love the variety of what we do from supporting mums-to-be before they go on maternity leave, helping parents juggle work and family life, running webinars for managers and developing people strategies with employers.
Tell me one interesting fact about you?
I went to the same school as Dr Who (Jodie Whitaker)
Please can you share 3 tips for managing the juggle of motherhood, life and business?
- Create clear boundaries between each part of life, clearly signalling to others when you are in parent mode, your business role and friend/partner/sister/other life roles
- Know what you want in the long term – create a strong vision and regularly remind yourself of this (especially on the challenging days)
- Create special moments with each of your children every day
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a new mum?
Know that being a mum will be joyous and also challenging – be prepared for both extremes.
Colour can make a real difference to our mood - what’s your favourite colour? And how does it make you feel when you wear it?
I love wearing orange – and wear it most days. It gives me energy and vitality.
What’s your favourite activity to do with your children?
We’ve just had our first family skiing holiday which was great fun to do together.
What do you like to do for some me-time?
Shopping by myself is always a treat, as well as catching up with girlfriends.
Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story Sally, I think so many mums can relate to wanting to find a job that fits around their family as well as wanting to do something fulfilling too.
If you'd like some parenting and careers inspiration from the Career-Mums team each week, you can sign up to the Career-Mums Weekly Boost here.
If you've enjoyed this interview, you can read our other blogs and "March of Inspiring Mums" series here