Released On 10th Nov 2016
10,000th member interview
Angela Norris from Pinsent Masons became our 10,000th member when she recently joined Cityparents. We’ve invited her to tell us about her experience of combining a City career with a family.
Q. Please could you start by telling us a little bit more about yourself and your career background?
A. I’m a corporate lawyer by trade, starting out in private practice then moving to a much more generalist in-house role at a FTSE 250 PLC. I was based primarily in Edinburgh though and London was calling – or more specifically my now husband! – and I moved down in 2011 to work in the business development team at Pinsent Masons, which is where I am now. My most demanding (!) but definitely most rewarding ‘job’ kicked off in 2013 when I became Mum to my now 3 year old boy. Together with his 1 year old sister, they keep me very busy indeed!
Q. Has your career changed since having children?
A. Absolutely! In fairness the opportunities are all still there – it’s just a case of being much more flexible with how I work. I’m very lucky in that my firm and the people I work with are really understanding about the demands that come with two very young children. Working from home, flexibility with my hours and one day off a week all help and mean that I don’t have to compromise too much on ‘being Mummy’. Don’t get me wrong though – it’s pretty hectic, exhausting and slightly chaotic at times!
Q. What advice or tips would you give to someone beginning a flexible working arrangement in the City?
A. To work really well, I think it’s important both parties are flexible. So while the examples I mentioned before primarily help me as a parent, there have also been occasions where I’ve made alternative childcare arrangements so I can work, for example attending key meetings on my non-working day. I think it’s got to be about give and take, and being totally open and honest to make sure everyone’s happy with how things are going.
Q. How did you hear about Cityparents?
A. Our firm is a member of Cityparents and emailed telling us all about you.
Q. Why did you decide to join the network?
A. One big thing I’ve learned about being a parent is that whatever you’re facing, you won’t be the only one. And as they say, it’s good to talk – to hear other people are going through the same thing, how they’re coping and hearing their ideas about what to do. That’s why I think Cityparents sounds like a great network, meeting other Mums & Dads who are facing the same issues of juggling a career and parenthood and making it work.
Q. Which of our upcoming events most appeals to you and why?
A. I really like the sound of the session in January about “Making the most of time with your children”. We’ve all got endless things to do at work and at home but it’s so important to switch off and properly spend time with the children. Easier said than done, which is why I think this sounds like a great event.
Q . Do you network to help advance your career, and if so, what kind of networking do you find most valuable?
A. I think networking is crucial in keeping up-to-date and ultimately advancing your career. It can be all too easy to be so busy with ‘the day job’ that you forget to look up at what’s going on round about, to meet new people and identify where opportunities may lie. I was concerned that being a parent would make it difficult to go along to networking events, which in my mind have traditionally always been in the evening. With so many breakfast and lunchtime sessions though this hasn’t been a problem, which is great.
Q. How do you balance your career with your family?
A. With wine, deep breaths and taking one day at a time!