If you’re looking for smart, insightful and practical advice for working Mums, then let me introduce you to Circle In. This beautiful business knows that as a working mum, you’re constantly juggling so many balls that at times, it can be really tough. Run by 2 super smart, super savvy mums Kate and Jodi, today I’m finding out more about how Circle In can help and support your working career…
Tell us a bit about your business and when you started it
Kate: Circle In is an online resource to help women manage their career through parental leave and returning to work. You can think of it a bit like the book ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ but from a career perspective. Circle in has tailored content for each stage of the parental leave and return to work journey. I’m thinking of having a baby through to I have just returned to work. We have everything from how to tell your manager you’re pregnant, how to keep in touch while on leave and how to ask for flexible working.
We launched Circle In in November 2017 and we’ve set ourselves a big goal. We want to bring 50,000 women back to work with confidence in the next 3 years. We have also just launched Circle In For Business which provides best practice parental leave programs for organisations.
We are so proud to be creating a social movement and a new way of looking at parental leave.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family
Kate: I am the mum of 2 gorgeous and very busy boys who are 2 and 4. My husband and I have been married for 6 years and we live in Melbourne which we love.
Jodi: I met my husband 7 years ago and we were engaged within 10 months. When you know, you know! We have 2 beautiful (but cheeky) girls aged 2 and 4.
What was the main reason why you started your business?
Jodi: Kate and I had 2 babies each very close together and were both on parental leave at the same time. On our second lot of parental leave, we were both frustrated by the lack of real and practical advice to support working mamas. Having a baby is a huge change to adjust to and it can really impact on how you feel about yourself and your career progression. But there wasn’t much out there that really helped you navigate this transition and return to work feeling confident. After 18 months of talking to over 1,000 women and validating our idea, we launched our online community, Circle In.
Any major obstacles you had to overcome to get your business up and going?
Kate: The basic set-up parts of any business can be so frustrating. Emails, domain names, rebranding, business name registration…the list is endless. We also spent a lot of time making sure our idea was right and then modifying it and then testing it again. There were many times when we nearly gave up, but we are so glad we didn’t.
What’s been your biggest business (or personal) achievement so far?
Jodi: Launching Circle In and getting 5,000 visitors to our site on day 1. We were everywhere in the news, featured across News Corp publications and Women’s Agenda. One of my favourite moments was when Annabel Crabb retweeted us!
Why do you like having your own business?
Kate: It gives you a lot of flexibility. Even though we are both working so much harder than we ever have, we also have the time to do the things that really matter to us. Things like going to my son’s kindergarten morning tea. The other amazing part is seeing the impact we are having. We receive so many emails for women every week telling us how much we have helped them. It really touches us and drives us to keep going and push for change.
What would we find you doing on the weekends?
Kate: We love going to the market, buying yummy fresh produce and cooking up a storm. Most of our weekends are spent making the most of our precious family time.
Jodi: We try to keep busy and as our girls are pretty active, we seem to spend a lot of time out of the house. Auskick, swimming, time with friends and then importantly, some time for ourselves.
Do you ever manage to get any ‘me’ time – if so, what do you get up to?
Jodi: As our girls are getting just that little bit older now, I am making more time for myself and this year I’m making my health a priority. I start most days with an F45 class at 6am which I absolutely love.
Tell me one random fact about yourself?
Kate: I was the first person in Australia to swallow a dollar coin. You did say you wanted random!
Jodi: I can beat most guys at skulling a beer!
Top 2 films you’re happy to watch again and again
Jodi: Films, what films?! We have no time to watch films these days. The only films we watch are short ones on Insta stories!
It’s been wonderful getting to know more about Kate and Jodi and understanding how they can help the amazing community of working mums out there. If you’re one of them, be sure to pop across to their website to learn more!