Karren Brady On Being A Working Mum

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Karren Brady On Being A Working Mum
Karren Brady is a proud Mum, a judge on The Apprentice and also one of The UK's most successful businesswomen.

She leads a very busy and hectic life yet manages to fit most things in! TheBabyWebsite spoke to her as part of her involvement in her lifesqueezer campaign.

1. How do you squeeze the most out of life?

I think that lifesqueezing means that you are in all the places you need to be and getting everything done. I'm not a very stressed person but I need to have enough hours in the day to try to keep on top of everything as there's no one answer to this. Relaxing is the last thing on my list as a busy mum but it's really important to try and take some time out for yourself. I love watching Come Dine with Me and Silent Witness but mostly only get to watch them on iPlayer or 4OD. I also love doing crosswords and Sudoku to help me relax.

2. What does a typical day look like to you?

I don't really have a typical day as I can sometimes get up at 5am and work until midnight but they are quite rare occasions.

3. Do you regret taking a small amount of maternity leave after having your first daughter?

I regret only taking 3 days maternity leave after the birth of my daughter but back in the nineties phrases such as flexible hours and family friendly working didn't exist and I thought that I would be left behind career wise. I now realise that a career lasts a lifetime and if I had my time again I would definitely take more maternity leave.

4. How do you balance work and family life?

The title that suits me best is 'working mum'. I'm very close to my children and if they need me then I'm there for them. If that means working from home for a week then that's what I'll do.

I was very lucky in having a mum who didn't go out to work but my children have always been involved in my work life. They come to football matches and come on The Apprentice tasks but they always come first so a parents evening is always chosen over a board meeting. I haven't had any help with the children at home for years but I did used to have a nanny. I now have a full time PA and someone to help with the cleaning and ironing.

5. What do you think stops mums from going back to work?

The biggest barrier for mums going back to work is confidence and it's a great misconception that all women want to be CEO's of huge conglomerates. Confidence comes from understanding what you're good at. I believe that you should stand up for yourself as no-one else will. You can be a good parent and a good businesswoman too and most women just want to be able to do a job they enjoy and know that their children are being looked after in the best possible care. Women want quality affordable childcare and I have no idea why it isn't tax deductable.

March 2011

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