Mentoring Circle: How to Juggle Work and Family during COVID-19

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The COVID crisis has been extremely difficult for all; globally, socially, economically and at home. It has particularly presented increased pressure and anxiety for women in the workplace as they navigate the enormous challenges managing home working while juggling a family. As a result many mothers are considering downshifting their career, reducing hours or leaving the workforce due to childcare responsibilities and increased pressure at work.

The heavier demands that mothers are carrying at home has made it even more difficult to balance work and life. Mothers also face persistent bias in the workplace with the false perception that they can’t be truly invested in both family and work and are therefore less committed than fathers and women without children in the workplace.

As a result mothers often feel that they are not good enough. That they are failing as a mother and in their role at work, and that they will not be considered for promotion as they fear not being perceived as not being able to commit equally to their male counterparts due to reduced hours or caring responsibilities.

What are Mentoring Circles?

The Rising Network Mentoring Circles offer a supportive peer to peer learning environment lead by mentors in each circle. Each mentoring circle will have a set theme so that mentees can come armed with questions to seek advice from both mentors and peers to collectively explore and discuss the issue – while being mentored and guided by someone who has knowledge and experience in personally overcoming that problem: the mentor.

We have restricted numbers for each mentoring circle to ensure the effectiveness of each mentoring circle so we advise booking in advance to secure your place.

Who should attend:

• First-line managers

• You are a first time people or project manager

• You supervise team members and operational activities

• You oversee dedicated programs or initiatives

How to book:

We normally charge for non members but its Mentoring Month, so it is open to all and FREE to attend. REGISTRATIONS CLOSES ON 10th February at 11:00 GMT.

About Sarah Banks: Sarah is Group Head of Quality, Environment, Health, Safety and Regulatory Affairs at Volac International Ltd, Orwell, Near Cambridge. Graduating with a degree in Agriculture in 1995, Sarah has worked in the Agri-Food sector for over 25 years. Her current role draws on a broad range of expertise in Business Quality management, CI, Strategic Leadership, Food Manufacturing & Customer Technical Support within the Agri-food sector. She is passionate about Quality, environmentally sustainable food production, Leadership and the development of high performing teams through empowerment, motivation and self- awareness. A qualified coach and mentor, she strives to promote development of women throughout organisations and particularly in senior management, improving diversity in leadership teams to achieve improved Business Performance and balanced Board representation.

A dedicated farmer’s wife and mum to four teenage daughters, Sarah lives with her husband and family on their mixed arable farm in South Cambridgeshire. A keen sportswoman, she enjoys dance, cycling, jogging (& eating cake!) and promotes the importance of self-care and emotional intelligence to balance the high demands of work and family.

About Sharon Budworth: Sharon is currently Head of HR UK & EMEA at Domino Printing Sciences in Bar Hill, Cambridge. She has worked in Human Resources for over 25 years, beginning her career in the 1990’s at Napp Pharmaceuticals on the Cambridge Science Park. Sharon has gained significant HR experience across a variety of sectors including Telecoms, Higher Education, Software, Retail and Engineering. She is passionate about HR and is particularly interested in the rising trend in applying ‘disruptive approaches’ in the workplace. An advocate for greater diversity in technology and engineering she is committed to leading change. Domino is now a member of WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) and has started reaching out to similar organisations to find new and innovative ways to attract more women into STEM roles.

Leadership Development, Talent, Engagement, Employee Experience and Wellness are a few of the key projects that Sharon and the Domino HR Team are focussing on right now.

Sharon is a Chartered Member of the CIPD and has also taken opportunities to develop elsewhere. She is a trained Doula, Childbirth Educator and Yoga for Pregnancy Teacher, teaching Yogabirth classes in Cambridge for eight years until 2016. She is married, has three children and lives in St Ives Cambridgeshire.

About the Rising Network: We use the power of community to empower women to realise their true potential, and to achieve balance and happiness. Our vision is to be recognised as a global community that empowers women to become change makers and we enrich our members professionally and personally by providing resources and a supportive learning and networking environment. We offer online and face-to-face events and a forum to upskill where tools, strategies and techniques can be learned and developed. As well as supporting our individual members, we offer corporates, SMEs, universities and other networks our services to support L&D and D&I initiatives. For more information and to join us, visit

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