Mothers in search of job - #futuremum interactive day with expert advice

Undiscussed problems, stories, useful tips, roles as mother and employee, time management, self-confidence enhancement and many more were on the agenda of the joint event of Coca‑Cola HBC Hungary and Loffice Coworkid where young mothers were invited to. Experts of the #futuremum interactive day were to improve their chances in the labour market with advice. Bea Palya, Alinda Veiszer, Márk McMenemy in a roundtable discussion, Dr. Erika Sinkó and Ágnes Bella trainers in a workshop shared their experiences and advice with the audience of about 100 mothers.

While children were taken care of by animators of the playhouse provided by the venue, mothers were given useful tips about how to return to work during the all-day event organised by Coca‑Cola HBC Hungary that anybody could join free of charge if registered in advance. The attendants could get answers to questions like how they could be good parents and successful in career at the same time, if there was enough time for children and work alike, how could they be effective in both roles if at all, whom they could turn to if they felt it was impossible to meet both roles and if they could be satisfied with themselves if they hadn’t even tried to start a career.

Mothers were given practical tips too about how to find their way in the world of work. The most popular part of the day was the interactive roundtable discussion where Dr. Andrea Juhos, Bea Palya, Alinda Veiszer, Nóri Kádár-Papp and Márk McMenemy talked about various topics with the audience involved.

“I don’t understand why employers are so sluggish to hire mothers with children. Girls become matured women capable of managing their time by having children” – Dr. Andrea Juhos, HR and business coach, managing partner of Lee Hecht Harrison Hungary noted in the #futuremum roundtable discussion. She said being a parent bestowed women with virtues that were in great demand in workplaces.

“It is the best thing ever happened to me in my life that I have children. I learn something from them every day and I am pretty sure that I have become a much better leader and professional thanks to them” – Andrea added.

However, the typical Hungarian employer is, unfortunately, not that enlightened: many mothers in the talk recounted that their having children had often been a disadvantage in job interviews.

Bea Palya, folk musician and performer argued vehemently in her way of talking that mothers should have had the courage to stand up for their needs: “Two little muses, the most exciting creatures of my life are my two daughters. They had me enrolled in the supreme school of love. I coexist with them and I find inspiration to my work in a good part from them. Singing and composition: this is another enthusiastic part of my life, fulfilment, vocation and service. Motherhood and singing – I adore both. Both of them are me. Why should I choose between them?”

Joining the conversation with her four-month old daughter, Judit Gál, communications director of Auchan, agreed and said that the progress having taken place in the last few years to balance work and private life were promising.

Moderator of the talk Alinda Veiszer, nonetheless, warned that those advantageous conditions could only be enforced by women in managing positions: people in the lower strata of workplace hierarchy are much weaker in advocating their interests – as was evinced by later comments. As a result of that and because there is a shortage of four- and six-hour jobs and home office, many women cannot even return to work.

Similar reasons led Nóri Kádár-Papp, founder of the online training room, “Come on mother!” to launch her own enterprise.

“I learnt when I was at home with children that when you think there is no way deeper down, it always turns out that there is. The good news is that from that place there is definitely a way up” – Nóri said who thinks that motherhood can be viewed as a chance for a fresh start. So, it is worth changing perspective and lifestyle.

However, for launching an enterprise, a well-thought business plan is not enough, but self-confidence, enthusiasm and a partner are also needed. In this last one, a husband and a father can play an important role. The radio and television anchor-man Márk McMenemy said that today’s fathers were not like those of the past: although their role still differed from that of mothers, they stayed more time at home, they took their part in child raising more than their predecessors.

“Whose stomach (in the best-case scenario) are they jumping on? Who is supposed to fling them in the water until the point of exhaustion, wrestle them with no end, bring them upstairs when asleep, lift them out of the car with aching back, dragging them about on bicycle and in carrier? Of course, us men dragging the yoke of fatherhood! This is the end of it! We want to be MOTHERS too! Surrounded by mothers, I will sing exploits of my male companions and of course mine as flaming swords of fatherhood” – Márk drew attention to the similar situation of men.

After the roundtable discussion that had stirred up sentimental stories and thoughtful “case studies”, mothers took part in a six-hour workshop led by Dr. Erika Sinkó and Ágnes Balla, trainers of #YouthEmpowered, where participants searched further on for the way their experience obtained while raising children could be utilized in the labour market.

The interactive day #futuremum opened up a new stage in the development of the #YouthEmpowered education program. Coca‑Cola HBC Hungary launched its initiative in 2017 to reduce youth unemployment. It provides inactive youth between 18-30 years of age dropped out of training, education and labour market with free, one-day training. Participants of the training can learn self-knowledge, self-development and communication, build a network of relationship and acquire skills that help them find a job. Since its start, more than 1000 youth from Budapest and the country were provided with the trainings and a total of 8000 are planned to get involved in the program until 2020. With this mission, Coca‑Cola HBC and Loffice Coworkid aims to help mothers with young children be more successful in the labour market.