My mother, for better or for worse, was of the opinion that motherhood and business leadership don’t mix. She was pretty vocal about it, too, and for a while I took on that outlook as my own. Over time, though, I started to realise that maybe it’s not that cut and dried. Surely, I thought, it must depend on your definition of those concepts – at least to some extent. Since then, I’ve been applying a good portion of my creative resources to solving the problem of how to harmoniously integrate these seemingly disparate activities.
I can’t say I’ve come up with a completely satisfying solution – not yet, anyway. But I’m pleased to say that I’ve made some decent strides towards my vision. Of course, I’m not actually a mother yet, so at this point it’s entirely theoretical, and I’m open to my mother being proved right. I am, however, a business leader – the creative director of an international company, in fact – and I’m using this position to see what I can do about weaving the possibility into my personal working environment.
One of the initiatives I’m implementing is using spatial layout and design features to enable the possibility of me having an infant in the workplace. This may be overly ambitious, I know. Still, I think there’s something to be said for investigating how pregnant women and nursing mothers can be better accommodated in commercial office design. Melbourne is a forward-thinking city, and there’s plenty of opportunity to explore this as far as I can see.
True, I am noticing the conceptual points of difference that this brings up between the intensely personal and the commercial. Office fitouts Melbourne mothers can really feel comfortable in – I’m talking physically as well as psychologically – are few and far between. What I mean is, there aren’t that many preexisting examples of what I’m trying to achieve, at least not from what I’ve seen in our clients’ offices and so on.
Still, I’m determined to keep chipping away at this and see what comes of it.