Listen to my story.
I commenced at Clayton Utz as a graduate and, following rotations, settled in the corporate team. It was boom time in Perth and we were extremely busy and worked incredibly hard ‒ but the work was interesting.
After about four years I decided that I needed to spread my wings and I moved to Sydney with a different law firm. I returned to Perth just before the birth of my first child. Fortunately Clayton Utz was happy to have me back, and it was a no-brainer for me, because of the team that I would be returning to and the people I'd be working with. I also knew that they would be very supportive of my transition to a working parent.
A few years and a few children later… this last year has been one of the most rewarding and challenging ones yet. I returned to work four months after giving birth to twins (children number 3 and 4) and now work four days a week. This past year I've had my highest ever billing year, and I've kept twin boys (and a 4 and 1 year old) alive (including exclusively breastfeeding them until they were 12 months).
I was able to do this with the support of my supervising partner and my team, as well as the Clayton Utz office generally (which includes the provision of a breastfeeding room). I was able to return to work gradually and I have been able to work from home when I have needed to ‒ no questions ever asked. I am exhausted! But we did it ‒ and I say "we" because it was a collective effort.
At numerous stages throughout my career, Clayton Utz has allowed me to work flexibly so I can properly manage my commitments outside of work. This has given me the ability to continue to progress my career while still being involved in, and running, complex transactions, as well as raising four young kids.
It would be much easier, especially in a transactional team, for me to work full time and full time in the office. However, it was also important to me to be at home as much as possible with my children. There have been a number of times over the last few years where I have worked from home, rather than in the office. Doing this has never impacted negatively my output, the clients we are servicing or my team members. And I got to be there for my children (and my long-suffering partner!).