June Angelides, 32, lives in North London, UK, with her husband Stephen and their two children, Adam, aged 4, and Ivy, aged 1.
If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t have believed you. Setting up Mums in Technology is not something I planned, so I guess I’m a bit of an accidental entrepreneur. The idea came about when I was on maternity leave with my second child. My background was in tech banks and when my daughter was born, and I found myself with some time on my hands, I decided to work on an idea I had. I quickly realised after trying to hire a developer to build out my idea that there was a communication barrier. In short, I didn’t speak “tech”. I couldn’t understand why certain things were impossible, or expensive, and that frustrated me. I wanted to take back some control in the process, so I decided to learn to code.
I then created Mums in Technology, the first child-friendly coding school in the UK, to enable other mums to learn to code too and provide them with entry routes into careers within technology. I didn’t, however, want them to have to choose between their baby and a career, so I set up a course that you can bring your kids to (we provide nannies to look after them). This which means that the mums are able to focus their entire attention on getting the most learning out of each class.
In terms of getting women into the tech industry I think the fact that it is often perceived as being male dominated can be intimidating. But more female role models will definitely help bring more women, and mums, into the tech industry
I won’t pretend that running a company and looking after two small children is easy. Finding that balance is still something I struggle with. Prioritisation and using my time as efficiently and productively as possible is important, but the reality of working for yourself is that if you don’t do any work, nothing gets done. However, I feel lucky to be able to choose when I work. I try as much as possible to work when the kids are at nursery or asleep. This means I don’t have a traditional work day, and instead I work when I can. I call it opportunistic working. And of course I have to make a conscious effort to switch off in the evenings so that I can spend quality time with my husband.
The mornings in our house are always crazy. We tend to wake up at 6.30am to get the kids ready for nursery. I love meeting people and learning about their businesses so I tend to arrange meetings and calls on the days the kids are at nursery. I then wrap up whatever meetings I have by 3pm so that I can get home to pick up the kids. I love being able to pick them up myself and play with them before dinner. I do a lot of my work from home though, which is great as I am quite good at staying focused and tend to get a lot done. On the days we have the courses I take my one-year-old with me and she loves it. We eat around 6pm and always sit down to eat together as a family.
I won’t pretend that running a company and looking after two small children is easy. Finding that balance is still something I struggle with
The need for flexible working is a major consideration for many women returning to work after having kids as they often have multiple childcare responsibilities. We recently conducted a survey of our community and found out that 51% of women would apply for roles in tech if the hours were flexible, no surprise there then. In terms of getting women into the tech industry I think the fact that it is often perceived as being male dominated, which it is by the way, can be intimidating. But more female role models will definitely help bring more women, and mums in particular, into the tech industry. It’s a process but I think we are slowly getting there.
I am definitely a fun mum. I love my kids so much and love to see them smiling and happy. They come first and they very much motivate me to be the best I can be. I want them to feel that they can be anything they want to be, without fear of failure, and I want them to feel that they can come to me for support and encouragement at any time. I am an optimist and hope to pass this on to them. I don’t think you can go wrong with positive energy.
It’s amazing how much love you can feel for your children. Nothing can prepare you for that and it’s such a beautiful thing. I think kids make you braver, more resilient, and can bring out the best in you which I thank them for. In return I hope to install a fearless within them, and a belief that the world is their oyster.
For more information about Mums in Technology courses please visit mumsintechnology.co.uk