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Finding Balance: Struggles for Women in the Modern Workplace

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Finding Balance: Struggles for Women in the Modern Workplace

Posted on March 2024 By Natasha Edge

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​As we celebrate International Women's Day, it's crucial to reflect on the evolving dynamics of the modern workplace and the unique challenges faced by women in juggling their professional and personal lives. Today, let's shed light on the often-unseen struggles of women as they navigate the delicate balance between work, home, and raising children.

Below, you'll find the personal accounts of two of our employees detailing their experiences after becoming a mum.


Juggling Act - Navigating Work, Home, and Kids:

In the fast-paced world we live in, the challenges of managing a career while shouldering responsibilities at home can be overwhelming. From tight deadlines to school pickups, the modern woman faces a delicate juggling act. The pressure to excel both in the workplace and at home can take a toll on mental and emotional well-being. It's essential to recognise and address these challenges to create a supportive work environment.

“Just last week, I grappled with a severe virus that confined me to my home. To complicate matters, my 16-year-old daughter also fell ill with the same virus, requiring my undivided attention and care. Upon my return to the office today, my employer demonstrated thoughtfulness by sending me back home to be with my daughter. The juxtaposition of dealing with my own illness and the guilt associated with leaving my unwell daughter at home vividly illustrates the perpetual struggle and emotional turmoil that often accompanies the lives of working women”.

In this specific scenario, having an employer who not only acknowledges but actively alleviates this burden feels like stumbling upon a rare treasure. The gesture of removing the guilt from my shoulders and making a compassionate decision holds immeasurable value. It serves as a powerful testament to the profound impact of a supportive employer, highlighting the importance of cultivating workplaces that genuinely prioritize the well-being of their employees. Layla, Associate Recruiter


The Career Break Dilemma:

One often-overlooked aspect of a woman's professional journey is the decision to take a career break to raise young children. While this choice is a testament to the commitment to family, it often comes with a price tag for the woman's career progression compared to her partner's. Society's expectations can inadvertently contribute to a scenario where women sacrifice career growth for the sake of family stability, creating an imbalance in the professional landscape.


"When I took maternity leave, I held the position of Senior Manager, overseeing a team of Recruiters. My career was on an upward trajectory, and the efforts I had invested were beginning to yield results. During my maternity leave, I was fortunate to have the support of both my partner and my employer —a privilege not afforded to everyone. Making the decision to return to work part-time when my son was nine months old was a weighty one, laden with feelings of guilt and the inevitable scrutiny of others. Personally I have also got so much from working and felt that I needed to go back to that for me. I wanted to have the best of both worlds.

After some time, it became increasingly evident that balancing my part-time work responsibilities with motherhood was proving challenging. Whenever my son fell ill or his nursery closed unexpectedly, the assumption was automatically placed on me to stay home with him, disrupting my work schedule. It seemed that with the shift in my salary and role, my job was considered less significant, allowing my husband to maintain his routine without interruption. I want to clarify that I'm not placing blame on my partner, as he was the primary breadwinner, which logically led to this arrangement. However, this scenario reflects a common pattern experienced by many women after having children, where their careers and personal lives bear the brunt of such circumstances."

"With over 15 years of experience in the recruitment field, I've personally faced my share of sarcastic remarks regarding my part-time status, along with dismissive comments like "it's easy for you." Furthermore, it's dishearteningly common to witness candidates being unfairly overlooked simply because they fall within a certain age range associated with having children, leading them to be unfairly labelled as unreliable or potentially not the ideal fit for the position."

I’m lucky, (not sure why I use the word “lucky”) to have managed to get back into the workplace and secure a senior role once more. But without the support of employers and the right network around me it would have been impossible.

Natasha, Operations Manager


I embarked on a career I wholeheartedly loved in Qatar. However, as an expat, the absence of a robust support network, which one might take for granted in their home country, posed a significant challenge. The looming dilemma for me revolved around the decision to take a career break for the sake of raising my children. With no family nearby, the prospect of entrusting my children to a nanny became an unsettling reality. Unable to reconcile with this notion, I made the choice to become a stay-at-home mum, much to the bewilderment of my colleagues who struggled to comprehend my decision to step away from a career I had diligently worked to advance.

Meanwhile, my husband's career soared. When the time came for me to re-enter the workforce, I found myself facing the daunting task of starting from square one. The prospect of rebuilding my career journey became a stark reality. Do I have any regrets? If I’m honest, the answer is a nuanced and reflective "sometimes."

Layla, Associate Recruiter


Bridging the Gap:

The stigma surrounding career breaks can be a significant hurdle for women attempting to re-enter the workforce. However, it's crucial to highlight success stories of women who have navigated these challenges, showcasing resilience and determination. Initiatives such as mentorship programs, flexible work arrangements, and inclusive policies can go a long way in supporting women as they transition back into their professional lives, bridging the gap created by career interruptions.

On this International Women's Day, let's not only celebrate the achievements of women but also acknowledge the hurdles they face in pursuit of a fulfilling professional and personal life. By fostering a workplace culture that recognizes and supports the diverse roles women play, we can pave the way for a more equitable future. I invite you to join the conversation, share your experiences, and contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding gender equality in the workplace.

While International Women's Day typically focuses on issues faced by women, it's essential to recognize that there are stay-at-home dads who also encounter similar challenges and deserve acknowledgment and support. Gender roles and expectations affect individuals regardless of their gender, and highlighting the experiences of stay-at-home dads can help foster understanding and inclusivity in discussions surrounding care giving, work-life balance, and societal norms.

Written by Natasha & Layla

"Balancing Act Masters & Mums"

Written on behalf and in support of Syntech Recruitment