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Home » Women in STEM » Helping parents to balance their career and family life

Róisín Gallagher

Senior Manager, Systems Engineering, Deloitte

The trend towards a more agile, flexible workplace, that is more supportive of parents is producing more women as STEM leaders.

Róisín Gallagher, Senior Manager in Systems Engineering, joined Deloitte after studying business at college. She detailed her work on technology projects with a pharmaceutical industry client in data migration.

After gaining technological know-how, she did a certification in project management and began working with some of the company’s largest public sector clients on other technological areas. During her time at the company, Róisín has learned about stakeholder management, how to become an effective mentor for junior members of staff and to remove any technological blocks that stand in the way of clients’ projects.

Open and clear communication

Róisín is recently back from maternity leave after having her first child. She advises anyone thinking of having children to talk to their employer about it and what they might need, as early as possible.

It is important, she says, to be open and clear about what new working arrangements are needed as employers can’t ‘mind read’. She says Deloitte is a supportive place for women and has several initiatives to help parents achieve a healthy work-life balance.

It is vital that girls have mentors, or visible role models if they are going to be encouraged into STEM careers.

Supporting work life balance

The Deloitte Works approach, which embraces hybrid working, was in place before the pandemic but has now come of age, she says. It puts trust in people to understand when they need to work in the office and when they can work at home just as well.

There can be challenges for working women to organise creche and school drop offs, but Róisín has always felt supported in this way.

She also has praise for the company’s special leave days, such as when parents want to attend their child’s first day of school. It means that they don’t need to take a day off as annual leave. Another Deloitte initiative called Time Out, offers further support by providing up to four weeks of unpaid leave as a block.

Róisín says that she learned a lot from watching a female project manager who became a role model for her career. It is vital that girls have mentors, or visible role models if they are going to be encouraged into STEM careers. Her experience shows that it is possible for women to have a career in technology and an active family life.

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