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Stay afraid, but do it anyway – How to Grow Through Challenges of Motherhood and of Coming Back to Work?

„Being a working mom doesn’t make you a bad mom and being a mom doesn’t make you a bad employee.” An inspiring history of Shraddha Patil – Associate Engineer at Equinix Poland, who completely changed her live by moving from India to Poland with her husband.

equinix supports working moms

You and your husband moved to Poland from India. What’s the story behind that?

He got the job in Warsaw and I joined him. This completely changed our lives, we needed to start over in a totally different place, half a world away.
Compared to India, Poland is totally different, like we have big differences in culture, food, climate and so many things compared to India.

One thing I want to mention is that working during winter snow days was a one different and exciting experience I had here, which I will not possibly get in India! Language is also one thing that I would like to add , It’s easier at work, but in public offices one should need to be a Polish speaker or need a translator. Interesting thing is that I have started learning Polish, for me it’s a bit challenging as you might know it’s one of the most difficult languages but yeah nothing is impossible.

Although there are differences in cultures and languages, I always got supportive , friendly and helpful team members at the workplace in both countries. 🙂

That sounds amazing – it must have been both a challenging and rewarding process! You had already been a woman in tech when starting your work in Poland, how was your transition time when you were preparing to become a mother as well?

Yes, I already had 3 years of work experience when I joined Equinix. In my country I was doing Automation Software Testing. In December 2018 Equinix was setting up the offices in Warsaw, so I was a member of their first team here in Poland. I joined the organization in Feb 2019 after completing all my recruitment and relocation processes.

I worked the initial 4 months of my pregnancy, later days I wasn’t comfortable to sit and work the full day due to health changes. So I used “Sick benefits” – one of the good benefits here in Poland for pregnant working women. When I found out that I was pregnant after joining work “I was worried how it would be handled, my career as well as pregnancy”, I preferred to discuss it with the manager and got full support as a pregnant woman for work flexibility and sick leaves.

How did you imagine coming back to work after maternity leave?

Initially when I was talking to my husband, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to work full-time, because I felt it would require a lot of adjustment from the company so that I could work in flexible hours. I was all about part time but my husband encouraged me to start full-time. I discussed those options with my manager and he welcomed my decision and also suggested as a mother I can use flexi hours to complete my work hours and that helped me a lot, that was the first time I felt supported!

Do you want to get more information about Equinix Poland? Check out the company profile on Parent Friendly Employer Database!

Shraddhy Patil z synem

What was the comeback like for you? How did you solve the need of balancing your work with baby-time?

Comeback was pretty challenging. I will never forget the challenges I experienced when I joined work back. Like how to find the right and better daycare for my baby. It was the most important thing for us. Then managing the work (important calls) as well as house, food before the baby came back from daycare. However, good things came from it.

First of all – as my baby started his daycare when he was 9 months old, it looks like he loves daycare more now! He loves to be around friends, sitters, and new people. And more importantly he is learning new things everyday through activities. That keeps me happy and so I can fully focus on my work and keeping the timeframe of the things I do professionally.

How does Equinix support you as a multitasking mom?

Resuming work after maternity leave, I was quite excited but also a little bit nervous. I joined a new team, I had to start on a new project that was about quality maintenance. In such a job there’s a need for a big focus – ability to concentrate is basically essential. There were so many changes in front of me, and then I still was a mom, so keeping the balance was all about juggling at first.

Equinix helped me with that through work flexibility and support from team members. I still have to keep boundaries as my son needs some of mommy’s time. And sometimes there are some moments when I need to take breaks to take care of a sick baby. In those situations I can count on my team that supports me by providing flexibility to accomplish my work ,and always be grateful for such a helpful team.

Equinix shares that they’re committed to creating a supportive, welcoming work environment where everyone can say „I’m safe, I belong, I matter.” When do you feel those three values work for you?

If I need some emergency leave for child care, I never have any issues getting it. Flexible working hours and the ability to work from home are priceless when you’re a parent, and Equinix creates space for that for sure. This builds a sense of belonging. I have recent experience when my son was sick and had a lot of testing work. I got assistance from another tester from my team. So I could get some time to take care of my son. I felt grateful that people from my team have my back, I can feel safe. And because I always get support from my colleagues and quality, collaborative time, there’s a great feeling that I matter to my team and to the company, growing in me. I really appreciate it.

Shraddhy Patil z synem

How do you see your growth and plans for your further career?

As I have completed a year as a working mum after joining work. I can see I have learnt a lot of things both technically, professionally and personally. I also found myself in some challenging situations though. I felt the urge to upgrade, develop myself. I wanted to do some extra certificates, but I had to remember that I’m a mom, too, so for now I will need to focus more on my son for a while. But I believe I will get there with the extra certification, I have already started working on it, but at a slower pace than before having a kid.

What kind of people do you search for your teams? Why do you think people should join Equinix and what makes this company stand out in your opinion?

At Equinix , opportunities to shine happen daily. And our culture supports and celebrates diversity and constantly looks for better ways to build inclusive teams. So to join Equinix is the best opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting, fast-growing organization.

Equinix on their values:

Work and life are blending together more than they ever have. Equinix offers a great amount of resources and support to it’s workforce. Whether it be through their Employee Assistance Program, webinars for working parents/caretakers, and free platforms for the Equinix children to stay happy, healthy, and educated. At Equinix, every employee should be able to say „I am safe, I belong, and I matter.”

Shraddhy Patil z synem

As a working mother, what message would you like to convey to all the mothers hesitating whether to come back to work after maternity leave?

Being a working mom doesn’t make you a bad mom and being a mom doesn’t make you a bad employee.

In general it is hard to be a working mother – you lose a lot of those little moments you could spend with your child. I remember once I was in a meeting when I received a video of my son’s first steps. I burst into tears. But I know it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, I want to work, I want to develop, and I feel I have full support from the company to do that.

I always support working mothers. Go for it Mum! Reach for the stars!

We’re happy we could talk to you! Thank you for sharing your story.

Do you want to get more information about Equinix Poland? Check out the company profile on Parent Friendly Employer Database!

Obrazek posiada pusty atrybut alt; plik o nazwie Equinix-Vertical-Outlined_300-1024x495.png

Translation: Edyta Kapanowska

Photos: Shraddha Patil private archive

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Certyfikowana coachka i strateg biznesowa współpracująca z branżą IT. Pomaga firmom i osobom odnaleźć ich wyjątkową ścieżkę. Współpracuje z przedsiębiorcami nad ich markami osobistymi. Wspiera swoich klientów w ich drodze rozwoju na polach prywatnych i zawodowych.

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