I’m Ruta – a proud mother of two young kids, a Senior Software Associate, and a recent office bake-off winner! I joined Accenture in 2010 but moved to part-time working five years ago. I consider myself so lucky that at Accenture, I have the flexibility to balance my family life with a technology career that I thoroughly enjoy. This is my story…
New role, new mum
Back in 2010, I was offered a role here as Software Development Associate in the Java stream, but at the same time I was expecting my first child. I was keeping well during my pregnancy and keen to start work straight away, but my start date was deferred for three months, which meant I would be in my eighth month of pregnancy, so not ideal. Human Resources was a great help and we discussed if it was worth me doing the four weeks of Java training and then starting my maternity leave or waiting until I returned from leave. As I’m a very curious person and was looking forward to being in the Accenture environment, I opted to do the training before my leave. I also took the opportunity for preparing myself for the Sun Certified Java Programmer exam (which was the requirement of the training) and passed successfully.
Second role, second child
I returned to work after 9 months or so and joined a project as a database developer and it was a good opportunity to build on my experience of working with SQL and PL/SQL. Then my second project was Java based but after a few months I was expecting my second child. It was during that maternity leave that I started to consider my options for returning to work; I enjoyed my job but as my kids were very young I really wanted to spend more time with them. Once again, Accenture were amazing and allowed me to take a leave of absence, so I had an extra year to spend with my kids and it really benefitted my family life.
When my second child was two years old, I was ready to return to work but was not 100% sure if I wanted to return full time, so I thought I would look at part-time options. Accenture were again fully supportive, granting my request and I moved to working to 22.5 hours a week.
Initially I did discover some challenges after moving to the part-time role, but I was offered a ‘buddy’ who has really helped me to adapt and progress. Being able to talk to someone in the same situation as you and hear how they have managed their own challenges and offer you guidance is invaluable. I know I have good moral support available and even though she is a senior manager she is always there for me.
I’m now working in a team called ‘DOJO’ and we do innovation work for a client. We work 6-8 weeks on proofs of concept, taking client issues/problems and addressing them with new innovation and the latest technology. Currently I’m working on a proof of concept using Virtual Reality, some Augmented Reality, progressive web apps as well as Machine Learning and AWS – so you get a lot of exposure to explore new technologies and the chance to upskill quickly to deliver the work. I’m very lucky to be in a team where everyone is so co-operative with my working pattern, for example on a Wednesday I only work afternoons so I miss the regular team meeting in the morning, but it’s not a problem, as I’m always updated by someone in the afternoon. The team helps me feel comfortable with being part-time, because they know when I am around I will put in 110%. I have to leave the office in time to pick up the kids from school, but if my work isn’t complete I know I have the flexibility to put in an extra hour or two at night when they’re in bed. That kind of balance, where I can deliver my best work as well as manage my family responsibilities, is ideal. I even achieved my second level of promotion whilst being part-time - so, flexible working doesn’t necessarily limit progression or promotion.