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Women in Science

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Video clip: Angela found having shared parental leave and a partner who was flexible was particularly helpful when they had two children.

The first one we touched on, the work life balance and you've already spoken a bit about working part time during your career. Are you back to working fulltime now and is that working alright?

Yes I have, so I've been back working full time since September, October time, can't remember the exact date, last year. Yes, so as I say it takes a little bit of time to get back up to speed and I think probably because you're so tired [laughter] as well and yes you have to accept that it's very difficult and even the transition going from one to two children is more difficult than I expected it was going to be. It's more than twice the work I think sometimes, especially because even with two parents you do run out of hands. But now I would say, yes, I'm very much back into the swing of things and part of that is necessity because there's so much going on at the moment. Unusually during my most recent maternity leave, the shared leave that I took with my husband, was when actually we spun out my second company, OxStem. I think it was within the few weeks of my son being born I actually signed off the formal spin out documentation with the university which is not a position I really wanted to have been in but, you know, [laughs] it worked out well in the end.

So part of the reason that I took shared leave and was coming back in was to actually start establishing, because the company is funding research activities within my research group, it's an unusual model more like a spin in company than a spin out company, so I've been heavily involved in building a team. So I think that probably made it a little easier to transition back into the working environment. But yes balancing that with nursery pick-ups, the inevitable phone calls that you get in the middle of the day when someone's got a temperature of 38.2 degrees and then juggling with my husband as to who is going to take the afternoon off to look after the child, yes it's a challenge but, you know, I wouldn't change having my kids.