After a year full of extreme challenges, there is a more personal challenge on the horizon that I am both excited for and (naturally) a little apprehensive! As a person who highly values my career and enjoys the momentum of working on a deal, I have been a bit uncertain and unsure when thinking about navigating a path through pregnancy and balancing the birth of my first child with a career in M&A.
While there is still a way to go for me (with what I am sure will be many learnings to come), I feel fortunate to be surrounded by a supportive leadership group and colleagues at Clarendons, many of whom have trodden this well-worn path before me.
Clarendons has an inclusive parental leave policy that aims to support all new parents to ensure they are able to share the primary care responsibilities with their partner depending on their individual circumstances. Clarendons’ parental leave policy aims to provide employees with the opportunity, support and flexibility to balance work and becoming a new parent, with leave allocations for ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ carers regardless of gender.
In addition to the parental leave policy itself, my personal experience has been that the support, understanding and insight provided by the directors and other senior colleagues has been outstanding and invaluable during this time in my life, particularly as the majority of the senior team have young families themselves. The leave aspect is just one element; the firm’s flexible attitude towards individual circumstances has allowed for Clarendons team members to work with directors to tailor options for a return to work strategy (whether on a part-time or full-time basis) and develop effective communication channels to minimise any feeling of disconnect for new parents.
Some key tips I have gained from colleagues that I intend to implement next year include:
- keeping in touch, engaged and communicating – applies to both the firm and you;
- establishing a central point of contact at Clarendons – a person you know you can be candid with;
- ensuring the right support network is in place;
- developing a return to work plan further into parental leave – at the moment, everything is a bit ‘unknown’, however, I have taken comfort in the positive experiences that other colleagues have shared with me and the support the firm has provided each of them with their individual choices;
- going with the flow, taking each day as it comes!
Nick Manuell commented that “we are excited for Ingrid as she embarks on this new chapter of her life and to see the Clarendons’ family grow. Our parental leave policy and attitude to return to work is a key example of our commitment to provide support to our team members as they transition to working parents and ensuring that we are providing an inclusive workplace so our team can continue to develop and progress their careers.”