I have a job. I’ve been doing it for the past 6 years. Bizarrely, it doesn’t feature on my CV. I am the head of Samson Inc. (My last name is Samson, and this company I’m head of is my family.) It is a non-profit organisation involved in the education, nutrition, financing, transportation and social welfare of young people. Many other leaders of similar organisations and I often meet to share best practices and discuss how we might work together for mutual benefit. It’s hard, but extremely rewarding work. I regularly work weekends and rarely get holidays. In fact I always work weekends and the holidays I do get are lovely but just an extension of my daily life. Sadly, I am also unpaid…
If I went back to the corporate world, I would have to pay someone to do my current role and they would be considered to be ‘working’. Yet I am not classed as a working mum.
Due to the lack of choice and flexibility of paid work in Dubai, I fill any extra time I have (which is extremely limited with three children) doing voluntary fund-raising work for my children’s school. Yet, I am still not classed as a working mum.
The Manager of a large recruitment consultancy in Dubai recently shook his head when he realised that I had not been in ‘paid’ employment for over four years. Shock! Horror! Despite years of working and several qualifications, the apparent gap on my CV was just too much of an issue…I was rendered a hopeless case before I’d even begun.
So, I have decided to re-brand my current role and put it on my CV. I may even be brave enough to add it to my LinkedIn profile. By definition, all Mums are Working Mums. We should be proud of this. We need to promote the skills and capabilities of Motherhood and not be shy just because we are unpaid. It is certainly by far the hardest job I have ever done.
Lucy Samson, working mum (qualifications…. ACA, BA Hons, TEFL and 3 Children)