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Maternity returners seminar idea - opinions required please

(11 Posts)
Clairey122 Fri 01-Apr-16 10:48:26

Hi all
I'm a mum to a 3 year old ds and also an employment lawyer. When I returned from mat leave to work I found it quite difficult after being out for a year and had to work hard to build my confidence back up. With hindsight i think I would have benefited from some support or coaching and also meeting others who were facing the same situation as me, juggling part time working etc. Obviously I knew about the flexible working patterns I could request but from speaking to lots of my clients I know that this can be confusing for some mums.

So it got me thinking about running a seminar for mums returning to work dealing with confidence building and common issues faced by mums returning to work ( with a business coach) employment issues that come up and flexible working rights etc ( me) and maybe bringing in something a bit fun but useful like a personal stylist to talk about working wardrobes. It would also be an opportunity for mums to meet other mums too and network.

So can I ask.. do you think this would be useful? If so, when do you think would be best to run it ( assuming the target is mums on mat leave, they will have the child home in the day) so I was thinking the evening but would welcome input. Lastly, would you be prepared to pay and how much? I was thinking between £50-£100 for a 2-3 hour session with a glass of fizz ( if in evening)

What do you think?

Any other input welcomed!!!

Many thanks

HolaWeenie Fri 01-Apr-16 11:50:20

Incredibly useful, I worked for a large accountancy firm in London, and luckily they had this side of things sewn up, I found it so helpful to have all the knowledge I needed for my return to work.

Although is it one of those things you only feel it useful in hindsight!?

pitterpatterrain Fri 01-Apr-16 11:58:13

Yes I would have appreciated this as my company doesn't have this sorted at all. When I looked all I could really find were multiple session maternity / career coach options which seemed a big commitment as I wasn't sure I wanted to go that route. A lighter session would have also helped me figure that out.

Timing is an interesting question as I EBF retuning to work at 6 months as DD was starting weaning and so evenings were still a bit of a minefield in the run up to return. DD wasn't great at taking bottles. I imagine there is no ideal time for everyone and evening is likely better than day.

The wardrobe stuff would put me off more than attract me to the session. Perhaps this is personal, l had a bad experience with a prior women's event that was just on this kind of topic though and how it was perceived by male colleagues. Whilst still on maternity likely less of an issue.

Clairey122 Sat 02-Apr-16 09:30:27

Thanks for the input.. What do you think about pricing?

pitterpatterrain Sat 02-Apr-16 09:49:12

Pricing for me would be fine. (I work in management consultancy, London)

pitterpatterrain Sat 02-Apr-16 09:50:29

Sorry what I was trying to say by saying industry is it likely depends on the audience

jclm Sat 02-Apr-16 23:29:18

Would love this kind of event, as long as it wasn't directed wholly towards women working in the city. I work(ed) in academia so the ethos is quite different. Wardrobe - I'm not sure about...

WanttoFindWorkLifeBalance Mon 04-Apr-16 08:16:37

I think you'd really need to think through your target market. A lot of large companies already do something in that space and other mid size companies sometimes already work with a provider. A friend did this and rated it - their list of themes are good in my view - talentkeepers.co.uk/free-maternity-comeback-workshops/ For me the wardrobe bit would put me off - too variable per individual - would rather focus on the more career based points. Good luck!

Starspread Mon 04-Apr-16 08:28:41

This sounds really useful - but tbh if you were able to run it in the daytime (and it be acceptable to bring babies along) I'd be much more likely to attend. Perfectly possible to still keep it as a professional-feeling space with babies present, I'd think.

I'm very conscious of the fact that HR departments are there to protect the interests of the company, not the employee, so there are quite a few questions I won't ask them to avoid showing my hand!

TheVeryHungryPreggo Mon 04-Apr-16 12:37:15

There's already an excellent Returners Course for women in law which is run by the Law Society and the WLD (formerly the Association of Women Solicitors). It's a 2-day somewhere in Oxford with one overnight and they run it twice a year. It includes meals and a networking dinner. I think I paid about £350 for it a couple of years ago. It was invaluable.

It has a cv clinic, several speakers from organisations looking to attract returners, recruiters, and some returners themselves explaining how they got back into it, a panel of "other jobs that you are probably well able to do but hadn't thought about" (since your former job with late night corporate deals doesn't fit well with motherhood), social media coaching (LinkedIn!) etc.

I currently work part-time for an organisation I had not thought of before the course. I've met two other former lawyers (who also did the course) working there too. It was great for building confidence and opening my eyes to other types of work.

The only thing about it is that it's difficult to find out about and not well-advertised. I only found out about it because DH and I had a falling out that was SO bad I went to seek a free consultation with a family solicitor and she had had a friend do it, so recommended it to me!

jellybean2000 Mon 04-Apr-16 14:50:43

Definitely useful!
I am in an academic environment.

I know all the laws and rights are there on the web but it would have been so nice to go to say a 1/2 day workshop (with my baby) and have it all spelled out by someone independent of my workplace, where you'd feel free to ask questions which you might otherwise feel reluctant e.g. flexible working.

Also, the rights of BF mothers, parental leave, emergency leave, nursery vouchers - all that sort of thing.

Then just some general kick ass stuff about how to field idiotic comments, for example the little dig about leaving early if you're working p/t, and how to confidently state when you need time off at short notice.

For me, sometime around 6 months into mat leave would have been good ie you're out of the newborn stage and thoughts of work are creeping back in. I would need to have taken my child with me though. Quite how that would work, I don't know!

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