Nov 28, 2022 | Blog


Cirkle Team

Sixteen years ago, when I had my first child, the workplace for women was very different. In fact, it often felt that if you wanted to get ahead, you should behave as if you were a man.

As a pregnant woman I would grin and tolerate the comments of ‘pregnancy brain’ and endure a brutal commute on hot tube trains, to ensure that no one could for a second question my dedication or that my pregnancy was in any way impacting my performance. 

After I became a mother, I remember the quiet disapproval (mainly from other women) as I dashed out of the door at 5pm, knowing that my child would be the last one to be collected from nursery because I was pushing the limits of time travel from the office, or coming in after being up the entire night with a sick child, just to avoid be considered a ‘part-timer’. 

Bringing your ‘whole self’ to work was not even considered, and certainly bringing any indication you had a family into the office was an absolute no-no. But even in this short period of time, I can see that a woman’s experience of work – whether that’s as a parent, carer, patient or as a menopausal woman – is slowly changing for the better. 

However, there is still much to do. Research by the Women in the Workplace 2022 report showed that women still face significant headwinds to their development – particularly when going into leadership positions. For example, women are more likely to experience belittling microaggressions, such as having their judgment questioned or being mistaken for someone more junior. The report also found that only one in ten women want to work fully at the office, which means one of the ways organisations can support women is to prioritise flexibility.

So, I was incredibly proud when Cirkle was awarded recognition as one of the best workplaces to work in the UK for women. Not just if you’re a parent, but if you have caring or other responsibilities, or if you suffer from any of the debilitating health concerns that many women experience in silence without disclosure for appearing to compromise their perception at work.

While no workplace is perfect, our culture works hard to understand that while work happens, life is also happening outside and around it too. We want our team to feel confident and open about the challenges they face in ‘the juggle’ and we know that as an employer complete flexibility, transparency and trust is key. It works both ways. 

For this reason, we offer complete hybrid working and full flexibility for all staff, regardless of their seniority, location, or job role. This means employees can choose when and where they work, which supports those individuals with caring responsibilities, neurodiversity or situational issues which prevent them from commuting to a specific location.

Our aim is that working at Cirkle whatever your gender, provides you with flexibility, security, camaraderie and support – allowing you to do your best work or your career, while living your life and being there fully for those you love without apology. 

So, we encourage our employees to embrace the messy stuff that is work-life balance unapologetically. No one will remember that amazing PowerPoint they produced in 2021, but they’ll sure as hell remember that you didn’t show up for that sports day or couldn’t be there when it really mattered for a family member.  

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