Criteos Virginie and Marie face the same challenge of looking to balance their professional careers alongside their very important roles as new moms. Also in common: both received a job promotion while they were on maternity leave, and here they share their experience and heartfelt gratitude for the support they have received from those around them.
As new mothers, maintaining a good work/life balance must present some special challenges. What’s a typical workday like?
Virginie: There’s no such thing! It really varies day to day, depending on what we’re focusing on. I’d say the one constant that I try to maintain every week is taking the time to stay caught up with the different teams. But, when unexpected, last-minute demands arise or there’s a rush before a big presentation – and, it’s time to pick up your child at daycare, it can get pretty hectic!
Marie: One thing that’s made a big difference is the new Work From Home policy. It’s very helpful, as a new mom, to have that extra flexibility on days when I’m not in the office. I work with a global team across multiple time zones so the empathy from my teammates also means a lot. When I’m getting on a call with them at night and I have my son with me, they’re very understanding!
Both of you were promoted while on maternity leave. What was that like?
Marie: For me, it was totally unexpected, I wasn’t even thinking about it. I actually was informed about my promotion the same day my son was born. Afterwards, it made me feel that I was really valued and appreciated and made me look forward even more to coming back to work. It’s another way that Criteo encourages diversity.
Virginie: I’d already had some experience from when I first joined Criteo and my former manager was promoted while she was on maternity leave. It made me so proud of her and of the company. But, when I was applying for a new job two years later while five months pregnant, I found myself putting barriers in front of myself and thinking, “they won’t choose me because I’m about to go on maternity leave.” Then, the manager told me that it would play no role in the decision-making and I felt even prouder. I got the job and a promotion, worked for 3 months and went on 5-months maternity leave.
What kind of support do you get from those around you?
Virginie: I’d say first, my husband and the help he provides at home. When I was on maternity leave, there was always someone available at Criteo to connect with when I needed to and I felt up to date on the latest company news. I also had someone from Criteo checking in on me every week to see how I was doing and to share news about the company. It really made me feel connected and I think helped make the return to work easier. And, as Marie said, my colleagues are very understanding and supportive. Part of that is being totally transparent with everyone and letting them know, “hey guys, I’ve got to leave now and I’ll be unavailable until 7:30 tonight.” I’m still learning how to accommodate work and motherhood and I am really grateful for the support from everyone. A huge “thank you all!”
Marie: I agree with all of that and would add a couple of other ways that the company supports us. One is the help we’re provided with all of the paperwork and insurance and rules and regulations that come with being a new parent. Another great advantage we have at Criteo is the existence of the Parents Community (ERG), which advocates for parents' needs such as flexibility and increases awareness around parenthood's challenges among colleagues. It's great to have the chance as a parent to feel safe in sharing information and experiences and receiving support and especially knowing that we have a place to make our voices heard. My manager is also a parent and very supportive. And I even had a co-worker volunteer to babysit. I agree with Virginie: thanks everybody!
Note: Criteo is committed to advancing gender equity in the workplace and supporting continuous career progression and balance; making sure that the contributions and talent of all employees are rewarded and recognized alongside their important life experiences.
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Discover Julien's story and how we can turn diversity of backgrounds into a precious asset.View More