Mrs Wendy Beattie
Published: 1 November 2022
The flexibility and support felt throughout the School, championed by the Athena Swan committee, means that parents are never judged for having responsibilities outside of work, regardless of your position within the School.
Mrs Wendy Beattie - Technician
I am currently a core funded technician, and I’ve been with the School for over 16 years (of which 15 of those were grant funded). During those 15 years, I got married and started a family. Being grant-funded had its issues, as the previous maternity leave policy meant that if you didn’t have enough time remaining on your grant to return to (approx. 13 weeks), you didn’t qualify for the University’s leave entitlements. Due to a mix up in the release of funds from my salary, this was the case when I was pregnant with my eldest (Alex, 8 years old), and to say it was stressful timing is quite an understatement. I was fortunate to work within a department which was pro-active and supportive, and even though the Athena Swan committee was in its early days, the message I received was ‘We’ll make it work.’ It took several weeks to resolve the financial details of maternity pay, however in that time I was being reassured by Prof Touyz, and Drs McBride and Graham that a solution was possible, and would be delivered. I ended up being able to share a full year of maternity/paternity leave with my husband – we both had 6 months leave to allow us to care for Alex, a leave policy which is supported by both the University of Glasgow and the NHS. The University’s maternity leave policies have since changed to better support grant funded staff, so that regardless of the amount of time left on their grant, they should qualify for a reasonable amount of leave.
We expanded our family (Beth, now 5) and I was fortunate to benefit from the flexible working policy offered and was able to compress my full-time working hours over 4 days, which has allowed me valuable time to spend with my children and helps financially as we could reduce our childcare costs. And now that both children attend school, the compressed hours policy means I can attend some school activities (also reducing the mum guilt from not always being able to drop everything for last-minute school events!).
Overall, the flexibility and support felt throughout the School, championed by the Athena Swan committee, means that parents are never judged for having responsibilities outside of work, and regardless of your position within the School, the take home message is one of making it a better working environment for everyone.
First published: 1 November 2022