Rebecca Underwood

Children: 1

Industry: Construction, Machinery, and Homes

How would you best describe yourself?

Love to organise, give a to-do list any day!

I like to try and do new things including travel, food and experiences

I am very loyal and proud of my family

Rebecca Underwood

How has becoming a parent changed your perception of work and career and what surprised you the most?

I was surprised by how much I wanted to go back to work after maternity leave. I was looking forward to a creative outlet and a challenge that didn't involve a little person with a 30 sec attention span. Work is no longer just about career aspirations for me, it's more so about the culture and the environment and the ability to contribute to the overall goals of the company. If I wasn’t working I would be volunteering.

What advice would you give your younger self about starting a family?

Newborns are not as scary as they seem! Have as much fun travelling, experiencing new (adult) things and learning new skills while you are young, because it is a lot harder with kids (not impossible though).

What has been your biggest challenge so far across the stages of pregnancy / leave / returning to work?  How have you overcome this?

Pregnancy - felt very supported as a lot of women in management roles had already had children. However the handover felt rushed, would have been easier if hours gradually reduced over several weeks.

Leave - felt less and less included as the leave progressed

Returning to work - I was able to find an employer who respected parenting responsibilities and allows for flexibility. I am now working part-time, which suits my role and requirements, but it would be good to see more job share roles out there, so several people can work together to get the job done. I know plenty of ‘Working Mummas’ I would happily job share with!!

What strategies / initiatives do you use to help you manage the juggle of being a Working Mumma and family?

It’s not a strategy, but it is definitely the most important aspect in that I have a husband that at any time can to step into the primary parent role, despite working full-time and travelling for work. For our situation it was important that one of us has a flexible role with reduced hours but it would be good to see flexibility for any full-time roles, for mums and dads. We also have supportive hands on grandparents that can help when needed. So our biggest strategy is our team and working together.

We are very lucky in Australia that we have access to great child care where our children can learn valuable skills and social interaction that they can’t learn at home. Even if I wasn't working, I would still send my kids to daycare.

Having a dog is great to get you out and walking, for exercise, just not so great once the kids want to walk to!