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MEDIA •  22 JUNE 2018 • 2 MIN READ

Mothers don't have to be superwoman - they just need good support

A mum working from home with her toddler drawing next to her

Juggling a new-born and working at a high level may be new to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern but it’s run of the mill stuff for staff at a top Hawke’s Bay-based tech firm.

Havelock North entrepreneur and working mother of three children Sue De Bievre established the cloud-based accountancy company Beany around several working and new mothers.

“I kind of established it around what would have worked for me. The first accountant I hired had five children and her youngest was 2, and then the next accountant we hired had four, and her youngest was just 12-weeks-old.

“So we really did build the business around what worked for them, and I guess the key thing is flexibility. If there’s a sports day or a sick child, all employees [including men] can just duck out, no questions asked. That’s built into our support network, so they can work with complete flexibility.”

Work was allocated to a set level, with the women having flexibility as to when it was done.

“They are all highly-qualified, smart women who are used to juggling stuff and they just seem to make it work.

“I really encourage every woman to build a bit of a support team around themselves, in the past there was this sort of Superwoman complex and I really think that’s not helpful.
“It’s really about building a village around yourself I think, and I’m sure Jacinda has already done that. She really strikes me as someone who will ask for the help she needs, as is being beautifully demonstrated by Jacinda and Clarke, the father can be actively involved in raising children and supporting his wife.

“In my own life, my husband is actively involved with all our children and we parent equally. He has completely facilitated my role as CEO and we work together.”

Beany management accountant Kerryn Mills is just three weeks away from having her second child and said the most important thing for the Prime Minister, once back at work, would be good support from her partner and family.

“And also, not being afraid to ask for help because if your child is sick you need to be able to ask that support network around you for help. Whether that’s someone to do your work or someone to look after your child.

“I have a very awesome company I work for, they allow me to be really flexible and be with my family. I think that’s really been the most incredible, key thing that they understand that family comes first. That’s been the biggest thing for us, and also my partner has been very hands on, which is also key.

“My son Harvey is 17-months-old and when I said I was pregnant again they were very supportive.”

Originally Published by NZ Herald  – 22 Jun, 2018