Meet our 14,000th member
Faye Suvari from SS&C became our 14,000th member when she joined Cityparents in November last year. We invited her to tell us about her experience of combining a City career with a family.
Q. Please could you start by briefly telling us a little bit more about yourself? Present role, working pattern, career background, home life/family.
A. I am currently working in a new role as Business Development Manager, EMEA at SS&C. SS&C is a global provider of investment and financial software-enabled services and software for the global financial services and healthcare industries. I am lucky that SS&C has worked with me to find a schedule that works for us both, with reduced hours and working from home. I have been a single parent for four years now and this offers a great work and life balance for both me and my family. I have been working in financial services for twenty five years, four of which I spent in Chicago working on the CME and CBOT trading floors selling and training clients on futures and options trading software.
Q. How did you hear about Cityparents? What made you join the network and how has the network helped you?
A. As SS&C employees, we receive membership to Cityparents as part of our benefits package. It’s reassuring to know that there is a network of working parents like myself out there and I am interested in any tips and information on how to make the most of your work/life balance.
Q. Which of our event topics most appeals to you and why? Any topics or inspirational speakers you’d like to see on our events schedule?
A. I have to be honest and say that I haven’t been to an event yet due to starting a new job followed by the Christmas and New Year period. I have really enjoyed speakers such as Samantha Smith, CEO at FinCap. I saw her speaking recently and she was a real inspiration with regards to her company and the school charity she has set up to encourage children to think about a variety of avenues of work for the future.
Q. How did you manage your return to a City career after taking a four year break?
A. I was lucky enough to find work locally for a sales and marketing agency for women returners called E2W. E2W offers contracts with City clients for people between the hours of 9.30am -2.30pm so I could drop my children at school/nursery and be there to collect them afterwards with minimal childcare costs. I worked 25 hours per week which enabled me to get used to working whilst having children on my own. I worked for a financial services client doing their internal sales and after 18 months I was asked to join them directly which I did. I worked three reduced-hour days in the City and this was the perfect balance. After another 18 months I joined SS&C and I currently work four days per week which is again perfect for me.
Q. What advice would you offer to others considering a return to the City?
A. Do it! It’s a bit daunting to start with, having been cocooned in a bubble of home life and children, but it’s great once you get used to it. You’re engaging in business and with people that interest you and inspire you. It has allowed me to develop my professional side, and push myself to do work that I enjoy and know I am capable of. It takes a long time for your confidence to return and it’s something I am constantly working on but it’s the best decision I have made. There really are truly supportive bosses and teams out there. The chances are you’ll meet another parent in your office that is going through the same struggles as you and it’s great to lean on each other or at least have someone to laugh with especially when things are going less than perfectly!
Q. What helps you manage the juggling act of career and family commitments? Any practical tips, especially for single parents?
A. My mum! I am lucky that my mum comes in three days a week at 6.30am to take over, which is invaluable as my children are still very young. This means that I can skip off for work knowing they are well looked after. However, when my mum decides to go on holiday which is often (how dare she!) then I rely on the school breakfast club or other family members. I use a village childminder after school and I’m fortunate enough to finish work at 4pm so I am home by 5.45pm to collect them. T
Tips that work for me are to be really organised with quick and easy things for the children’s dinners. I try to not get stressed around bedtimes and having time to do homework, practice musical instruments, do out of school clubs etc. After years of worrying I have now come to the conclusion that as long as they’re in bed by 8.30pm it’s ok.
Another key tip – develop and rely on friendships with other school parents. My children go to a very small school so I know most of the parents and have made a few close friendships. My parent friends will me help out with school runs and childcare, as I will help them whenever I can. It is a great safety net to know that if I have to work late at short notice, I always have a parent to call on to help me out.
Q. What does your employer offer/do to help you manage your work life balance?
A. SS&C has worked with me to find a schedule that works for us both, with reduced hours and working from home. This offers me a great work/life balance without which I couldn’t realistically work. I think all parents feel they could improve at home and at work, but we should reassure ourselves that everyone is just doing their best in life.
Q. How do you look after your own wellbeing?
A. I probably don’t as much as I should, and feel like this is something to focus on especially in your mid 40’s. I don’t go to the gym, despite having been a member for eight years! I am generally a very positive person though and really like my current stage in life. I try to keep my life as simple as possible in order to not invite in unnecessary stress. I surround myself with good people and have lots of great friends. Meeting up with them makes me feel good, especially if it’s for the odd glass of wine!
Released On 17th Jan 2019