Working Mothers and International Women’s Day

Working Mothers and International Women’s Day

This year’s International Women’s Day is very special because this will be my first as a working mum. I went back to work three months postpartum and reflecting on my journey of motherhood over the past eight months, I am amazed how much I have managed to balance, between my baby, home and work.

Admittedly, I did not do it alone and no working mother ought to; but with the right support at work and at home, working mothers can contribute economically and bring up a family with equal success. That said, I am aware that this may be an idealistic perspective in some parts of the world – even in Asia.

There were times during my journey, that I questioned ‘why did women have to prioritise or deprioritise certain aspects of their lives when they become mothers? Why couldn’t we have it all?’


And another nagging thought screaming for attention was ‘for years women before me have fought for equal rights and treatment in the workplace; and this meant that I cannot let my career goals take a backseat now that I am a mum.’

The clincher for the argument was my son. I want him to grow up in the knowledge that his parents work hard to ensure we have a decent life and that all good things in life takes effort. Nothing comes easy but at the same time, nothing is impossible especially for women who choose to start a family while balancing their careers.


So three months after the arrival of my son and with courage, I approached my “old” organisation to tell them I was ready to get back to work.


I received empathy, understanding and a huge amount of support. My boss’ initial reaction was concern for my son and our growing family. “As much as we value you as a key member of the team, you are a mother now and we need to agree on a solution that works best for your baby, you and the organisation,” he said.


It was not only an emotional but also a memorable moment for me as I knew at that very moment, that this is an organisation has got my back and the one thing that any new mother would absolutely value when starting her new life is support.

I must say, it has not been mere lip service either. I now have working arrangements that enable me to continue working as a Director at Priority Consultants and still manage my responsibilities with my son at home. At this stage, I am not required to travel as much as I did before and in addition, my fellow team members especially the leadership team (Nolan Ovinis, Cristie Hilado, Seng Jin Lim, and Mitabh Saud) have been extremely supportive in respecting and working within the arrangements. In return, I fulfil my role and responsibilities with empathy, respect, integrity and courage to ensure that the organisation, our clients and partners benefit from us. It is a two-way street  and respect, professionalism and care for colleagues and clients alike must always be the top priority.


So yes, a woman can have it all (family, career, financial independence, success, continuous learning, etc) provided that she has the support – at home, at work and in society. Many women do not get a chance to work in an organisation that “walks the talk” and I am proud to say that Priority Consultants is one such organisation that has proven to walk the talk.


I would like to wish everyone Happy International Women’s Day and to salute the women who work so hard each day to balance it all. I would also like to thank all the men and partners in our lives who give us the right support, encouragement and motivation to enable us to shine brighter!


Sunita Kaur Gill

Director Southeast Asia