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Navigating the tech industry as a working mum

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Juggling tech and motherhood: Polly Price, Principal Product Lead at Axiologik, shares her insights. Mastering organisation, emphasising open communication, embracing flexibility, and being a role model are key. Polly's blend of meticulous planning, transparency, and a culture of acceptance contributes to a thriving tech career while nurturing a happy family life.

Balancing the fast-paced demands of a career in the tech industry with the responsibilities of motherhood is no small feat.

working mum

As a working mum, Polly Price, Principal Product Lead, Axiologik, shares her insights on how she’s successfully managed to navigate this challenging landscape. From meticulous organisation to fostering open communication, her journey is a testament to the importance of finding a balance that works for both her professional and personal life.

Forging her way as a woman working in the technology sector, Polly is the principal product manager at Axiologik, with a strong aspiration for the company to become known for exemplary product management.

Polly’s diverse background in service, product, and consultancy – particularly in the healthcare sector – equips her with a well-rounded perspective and an ability to walk in others’ shoes. She excels at navigating differing opinions and fostering alignment across different departments and stakeholders. Her passion for agility and driving positive change aligns with Axiologik’s mission to make a meaningful and progressive impact in society.

In 2023, she was highly commended as the Tech Rising Star of the Year at the Prolific North Tech Awards.  Before her current role, she had over a decade of experience working for an HR and payroll solutions company, where she progressed to roles such as account manager, product owner, and senior product manager. Connect with Polly on LinkedIn.

Mastering organisation

Organisation is the foundation of my ability to thrive in the tech industry as a working mum. Schedules are everywhere in my life, with diary management and time allocation being crucial. Managing not just my own whereabouts but also coordinating the activities of my children — who attend different schools with different timetables — requires a high level of planning. From events to extracurricular activities, careful planning is the key to ensuring a smooth operation on all fronts.

“Plan, plan, and plan,” has become my mantra, highlighting the importance of staying ahead of the curve. This level of organisation is essential for any working mum navigating the tech industry, where deadlines and project timelines are often non-negotiable.

Communication is key

In the tech industry, where collaboration and communication are fundamental, maintaining open lines of productive dialogue is vital. This extends not only to my professional network but also to my family. Acknowledging that communication is a two-way street, I emphasise the importance of keeping both my employer and my family informed about my commitments.

By being transparent, I ensure that everyone is on the same page, minimising misunderstandings and maximising support from both my workplace and my family.

working mum

Honesty as a virtue

One of the many hurdles faced by working mothers is the infamous “mum guilt.” I acknowledge this challenge and advocate for honesty in managing expectations. In a society that often places immense pressure on mothers to excel both at work and at home, being realistic about our capabilities is crucial.

By openly discussing the challenges of balancing work and motherhood, we can alleviate some of the self-imposed guilt. This honesty extends to the workplace, where open conversations about childcare arrangements and working hours can lead to more understanding and supportive environments. That’s why working for an organisation that has a culture of acceptance is important.

Flexibility: Breaking down barriers in the tech industry

Flexibility is a term often seen as a barrier for working mothers. But for me, it’s a key element in my success. I advocate for a more fluid work environment that accommodates the needs of both employees and their families. Recognising that flexibility might be viewed differently across various industries, I urge that employers should actively support and empower working mothers to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

A culture that embraces flexibility not only benefits working mums but also contributes to a more inclusive and understanding workplace.

Nurturing connections beyond the screen

In the era of remote work, the human element of daily life can easily be overlooked. However, I credit the COVID-19 pandemic with normalising the blend of personal and professional life. My children have occasionally sat on my knee during work calls, providing a human touch to the digital interactions.

Incorporating personal aspects into my professional life has enabled me to bridge the gap between my career and my role as a mother. This normalisation has not only made my daily life more relatable to colleagues but has also made my children feel more connected to my work.

A tech role model

I believe that being a role model is not exclusive to men in the tech industry. I proudly proclaim, “it’s not just for dads; mummy works in tech!” By actively sharing my experiences and projects with my children, I aim to inspire them to embrace the world of technology.

By breaking gender stereotypes and showing my children the impact of my work on society through tech-for-good projects, I am not only excelling in my career but also paving the way for the next generation.

Embracing these principles means working mothers can navigate the challenges of the tech world while simultaneously nurturing a happy and healthy family life.

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