Interview: Louise Karim – Mums@work

Louise Karim and David MacKenzie, Co-Founders of Mums@Work

I got to interview the ever so kind Louise Karim, Managing Director of Mums@Work; a new recruitment agency in town dedicated to connecting mums with flexible career options!

When i first read about Mums@work i honestly couldn’t believe my eyes! A recruitment agency for mothers?!!!! Here in the Middle East?!!! No way.. Shut up, get outta here!

I was beyond thrilled that this was finally happening.. Companies were finally acknowledging the fact that many mothers actually do want to go back to work at some point in their lives and require flexibility in order to do so.

Mums@work provides mothers with suitable career options that give them the work-life balance they crave.. This new initiative also goes one step further and supports mothers through coaching, mentoring, offering tips and giving advice!

Being a working mother myself, i have to admit that those ‘being away from my baby’ guilt trips do get to me.. A LOT.

Leaving my baby behind to go to work every morning is a daily struggle.. Luckily, i have a very strong support system at home which gives me a huge sense of relief. I get to go to work completely reassured that my boy is in safe hands which is a blessing!

The thing is, i love my career.. It is a part of who i am and i wouldn’t be ‘me’ without it. I honestly do feel that there is a balance between what i give to my career and what i give to my family.. It is no where near easy, but i make it happen and it’s SO rewarding!

Mums@work can help mothers achieve that exact balance between having a career and motherhood.. it does exist! It isn’t easy and requires a lot of dedication but with the right mindset and attitude, you can make it work!

So here is what the lovely Louise Karim had to say about her new company, the challenges she has faced and her life outside the office (what a superwoman!):

Tell me a little about yourself.

 British born, I moved to Dubai 8 years ago. Since then I have met my husband and had two handsome little boys 🙂 I have worked in communications for over 14 years and recently launched Mums@Work with David Mackenzie of Mackenzie Jones. I love to hang out with my children and husband, am a beach lover and have a passion for traveling and keeping fit. Guilty pleasures…caffeine and chocolate addict!

I have read and heard so much about Mums@Work on the Radio/Social Media and was blown away that we finally have a company in the GCC that’s working towards empowering mothers in the workforce! How did you first come about this idea?

The idea came from our Founder, David Mackenzie, owner of Mackenzie Jones. He was having lunch with a friend who was a successful lawyer before she took a career break to have children and she was asking David why he couldn’t get her a more flexible/part-time role, which set him thinking about launching Mums@Work.

 Our recent survey with YouGov shows that on average, 77% of mothers in the UAE who have taken time out from their careers to have children are keen to get back to work. Mums@Work was launched to make it easier for mums to do so – by not only connecting candidates with clients, but guiding and mentoring them to ensure these women have the skills and confidence to get the jobs they want.

We are eagerly waiting for your full website launch. Which date should we mark in our calendars?

We are working hard on perfecting the site, keep your eyes peeled and we will have the full site for you within the coming weeks.

What sort of jobs should we expect to find on your website?

As we are a sister company of Mackenzie Jones, we have access to their 60k+ client contacts across all sectors and role types, and as such we have a great range of roles perfect for professional mothers looking to re-enter the workplace.

What do the jobs at Mums@work offer mothers that regular jobs don’t?

FLEXIBLITY. We work with companies to ensure we can offer the right amount of flexibility appropriate for the business and the role. From this we match our mums with the right role and right company. Interestingly, research from our survey with YouGov indicated that the biggest barrier for mums returning to the workplace was flexibility, with more than 38% of women claiming they couldn’t juggle family and workplace commitments.

What is the biggest challenge you faced while establishing Mums@work?

Establishing the visa process and education of clients – changing perceptions in the region.

I’m sure that you must be working day and night.. What do you like to do in your alone time?

 As a mum of two young boys I don’t get much ‘alone’ time, but on my time away from work I like to spend time with my two boys Hamdan and Harith and my husband. I also like to run and keep fit and if I can find the time, a quick pamper session always works for me!

What are your favorite hang-out spots in Dubai?

With the weather so perfect at the moment we like to spend our time outdoors – at the beach, park, pool or having a BBQ in the garden with friends. In the hotter months we spend our time doing the soft play rounds, like most other parents in Dubai!

Name one thing you can’t live without.

My phone… bad I know, but as a social media director in a previous life it’s a habit hard to break!

Any piece of advice you would like to give to the mums in Dubai that are looking to start working again?

Make sure you are clear on the role and time you want to give to going back to work in order to choose the perfect role.  Get great childcare in place, either at home or through a nursery. Be organized, as managing the juggling act between work and life takes preparation and organization, but it’s all worth it!







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