An hour in Digital, from a child's perspective
On the last day of the summer holidays, my four-year-old daughter was able to pop into the office for an hour, and it was a very special experience.
My work colleagues were fantastic with her, and my line manager handled it very well when she told him she had unicorn knickers on! Afterwards, my daughter couldn’t stop talking about her day. There was the lady with pink hair who shared chocolate raisins with her, the developer who bought her new stationery for starting school, and the scrum master who said he turns into a wolf on a full moon.
More than just satisfying her curiosity, her visit has inspired her too.
She was fascinated by how busy everyone was, and I know that in a few years she’ll want to know more about changing the websites and how our designer is ‘colouring in’ on a laptop.
It’s natural that my daughter is interested in what I’m doing while I’m away from her, and I want her to know I’m happy while I’m here. DLG Digital didn’t disappoint. More than just satisfying her curiosity, her visit has inspired her too. My daughter tells me that she wants to work in an office now, and manage a team of people. Although, she also says she becomes a fairy at night, so I’m not booking her work experience just yet!
So why does this matter? I recently read a study by Harvard Business School, about how children benefit from having a working mum. Researchers found that, on average, the daughters of working mothers were paid 4% more than their peers, and they were more likely to be promoted into senior positions. One in three daughters of working mothers were in managerial positions, compared with only one in four from non-working mothers.
Of course, the study is feeding my burgeoning confirmation bias. Juggling the demands of work and family is undeniably a massive challenge, and finding the mix that works best is hugely personal. That said, I believe the rewards of being in a family where both parents work are further-reaching than the obvious financial benefit that two salaries bring.
The day after my daughter visited the office, she started primary school. I felt a sense of euphoria and mentioned to a colleague, with older children, that all the milestones like weaning, teething and potty training were Agile project sprints, culminating in releasing my child into the big world. I spoke about my relief at tasks finished and well done. My friend smiled witheringly and replied “oh no, all that was sprint zero. The project has only just got started…”
Well, as long as I find my work rewarding, and my daughter approves of me working with a werewolf, I’m looking forward to the adventures.