Women in finance: Melissa Henderson, Paraplanner at BRI Wealth Management, reflects on balancing work whilst having a young family 

by | Mar 8, 2023

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This year’s International Women’s Day, Melissa says that the theme reminds her of her own positive experience as a woman working as a Paraplanner in financial services, especially over the last few years and that now was the perfect time to share her experiences: 

“I was pregnant during the latter part of the Covid pandemic. When lockdown ended and people started to return to the office, my direct manager was very supportive and understanding by not only allowing me to continue working from home but also in letting me take time away from work whenever I needed to attend appointments or was feeling unwell. 

“During my maternity leave, I had regular contact with my colleagues and manager. I felt that the keeping in touch days were very helpful and eased the transition back to work after being away for a year. 

“Once I returned to work and my son started nursery, I again felt supported. Having flexibility in my working day was not an issue and I have been able to make adjustments. I plan to return to full time at some point in the next year or two but I have not felt any pressure to do so by my employer. Returning to work when you have a baby/toddler can have its harder days, for instance when they are sick or have had broken sleep from teething etc. My colleagues and manager have been very understanding and, overall returning to work has been a really positive experience so far. 

 
 

“I have ambitions to progress within the business and have received encouragement from my manager in this regard. We have been discussing how I will get there, including realistic timeframes given the balance I need between work and raising my son. 

“Despite efforts to have a more diverse workforce, the financial services industry continues to have a significantly larger proportion of men than women. However, the support and encouragements I have received during and after my pregnancy from my manager and colleagues clearly shows that women’s challenges are increasingly being recognized and that the industry, as a whole, is seemingly endeavouring to create a more equitable work environment.

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