Saturday, April 6, 2013

“Where to Now?” 4th Women on Boards conference CareerMums Q&A profile

We are profiling Margie Haseltine. Margie has worked in senior operational roles for over 20 years. For the past five years, Margie has established a career as a non-executive board director. She is also a mentor for Women on Boards.

What do you do?
I started my career working for mars Inc for 20 years in senior operational roles, and as CEO for the last five years of my time there. /for the past 5 years I consult and have established a career as a non -executive Board director.

How old are your children?

What do you love about your job?
The variety the stimulation and making a difference in businesses and people’s lives, by adding value.

Did you always have the intention of progressing your career after having your children?
Yes I had no option I have always been the breadwinner in our family.

It takes a village to raise a family. Who helps you to manage work and family?
My stay at home husband, a nanny who used to be a daily requirement, and childcare and friends.

When you come home each day, are you good at switching off from work?
Rarely switch off, however I usually do the kids thing, and start again after they go to bed.

Every parent should have a selfish pursuit or ‘not-negotiable’ that provides them with an opportunity to relax and re-charge their batteries every week. What is your ‘not-negotiable’?
Watching the news, playing tennis and book club. I belong to 2 book clubs, which it forces me to read.

Have there been some difficult moments in your career with young children? What were the difficult moments?
Sick children, my youngest son had serious virus, which meant he was in Westmead for 2 months, very difficult on all fronts. And when my husband went overseas to work for 8 weeks, we fell apart as we changed the family rules, and no one could cope.

What advice would you give to parents who are about to return to work and resume their careers?
Good help and flexibility is essential, as things always go wrong or over time, and plan lots of fantastic holidays as the family reward, this is what everyone remembers, not the dull routine of week in week out.

What support measures should employers be offering to working parents?
If possible day care centers or subsidies to centers. Paid maternity leave that can be flexibly used, so maybe after you return up to the first 2 years, you may be able to take time off for special family needs – rather all in one block. Mentoring or counseling help for returning mothers, so that they can talk to others who have been through the experience and guide them through, especially when tough times occur.

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