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Network Homes celebrates International Women’s Day with special panel debate on being a working mother

Housing association Network Homes marked International Women’s Day with a special Question Time style event at its Wembley Park HQ on Friday 8 March.

A panel faced questions from Network staff on the challenges facing working mothers as well as the issues single mothers are currently confronting with Universal Credit. Panellists included Nicola Dibb, Co-founder of WISH (Women in Social Housing), Christina Byrne, Community Engagement and Partnerships Manager at Brent Council and Sahara Sahad, Lettings Coordinator at Network Homes.

Nicola Dibb said: “WISH is increasingly hearing from women in the housing and construction sectors who are also mothers, struggling to cope with managing children and a demanding job.  It’s so important for organisations to consider how they can offer more flexible working environments so that these talented women can continue to contribute.  Companies that cannot or will not change their approach will lose their very best women and the sector as a whole will suffer.”

Christina Byrne said: “As a working mum you sometimes feel guilty and find it difficult to have a good work life balance. It’s really important to be organised and to have a plan so that you’ve got the right balance between your work and being a parent. Because you can definitely do both. It’s also important for workplaces to be flexible as they will not only get the best from their employee, the employee will feel valued and comfortable.”

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Everyone has a part to play, all the time, everywhere, not just on one day or in the office. Fathers, husbands, brothers and friends, you all play a pivotal role in supporting the women around you. Working together is the only way to create a gender balanced world.

Helen Evans, Chief Executive of Network Homes