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INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN EPISODE 4 - WITH KATJA DINGLI BENNETTI
In our fourth instalment of Inspirational Women, we sat down with the spirited and ambitious Katja Dingli Bennetti; mother to twin boys and founder of JobsforMumsMalta.com.
With Mother’s Day approaching we couldn’t have asked for a better muse to shed the spotlight on. Katja shares and embodies principles that we hold close to our heart; that of hard work and determination in pursuit of one’s dreams.
Katja’s business bloomed out of the necessity for a platform that provided flexible and equal opportunities for mothers, inspired by her own vigour and ambition regarding her career. In this blog she shares her inspirations and advice on motherhood and employment.
1) What inspired/motivated you to create the platform Jobs For Mums Malta?
Giving up on my own personal goals and career was never an option for me, it wasn’t even something that troubled me as a thought. Once we’ve decided to have children, it was a given that some adjustments to our lives had to be made, however in my mind it was clear that both my husband and myself would jointly have to make them.
My previous employer was extremely flexible, during the first six months of our twin boys’ life – I worked from home full-time, and later returned to the office mornings only and continued to work from home in the afternoons.
As I settled into my new role of motherhood, and entered the parenting circle of friends it became evident to me that what I had at my work place was not the norm, but truly a rarity in Malta. So many mothers I’ve come to know had given-up their career, not so much by choice but by the lack of available flexible working opportunities offered by their company and the labour market.
With a growing economy and a constant growing demand for valuable, experienced and reliable workforce in Malta, I wondered how companies hadn’t been clever enough to tap into what I call the (lost) talent pool sitting in our homes.
That was then, when JobsforMumsMalta.com was born. With the aim to bring together the flexible job seeker and employer alike. Whose aim both was to jointly grow and succeed.
2) How do you and your family balance responsibilities along with your careers?
I will confess that, as any other working parent will attest to. Working full-time and caring for a young family is never easy. I’ve managed to maintain a balance by choosing carefully my work paths and the companies I’ve worked for in the journey of my career. These well-made choices have allowed me to be flexible and therefore happily juggle all my responsibilities. But I will also say that I’ve learnt to share our children and home responsibilities – and I say that because very often women are made to believe (and thus find it extremely difficult to share ) ones own child caring responsibilities and that of our home.
It’s been a big learning curve for the both of us, but I am very happy that we’ve both learnt to make this work and are both equally involved in the life of our children, our home and our work. I personally feel it makes us truly complete as individuals and parents, and a great role model to our growing children.
None of the above however is possible without loads of planning and organising ????
3) Any advice or tips for mums wishing to follow in your footsteps and start up a business/project?
I strongly believe that any woman out there, whatever her lifes’ personal choices, should always strive to protect and hold her own independence; this means the freedom to choose her career and financial independence. It also means to live the life she wants to live without fear; without the fear of being judged, without fearing of falling short in on any duties and responsibilities that society has so conveniently assigned to us women.
I would have to quote Nelson Mandela when he said ”It always seems impossible until it’s done”. So whatever your goal, whatever your dream, women can and should always pursue that what makes them feel complete, whatever this may be.
So if you are looking to start a new career, pick-up your career where you left it off before becoming a Mum, go back to studies or even decide to venture out to become the next female entrepreneur?! – go for it, and as Michelle Ruiz had said ” If people are doubting how far you’ll go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.”
4) What quality or life lesson would you like to pass along to your children?
Life is made out of many ups and down, so there are many qualities and life lessons which I feel contribute to one’s happiness in life, so as a mother there are many qualities I would love to know I am capable of passing onto my children. Some of the most important ones are:
To be Compassionate and non judgmental; I feel the world needs more compassionate and less judgmental people in it. I also feel that being compassionate enriches your soul and also contributes to your personal well-being.
Fearlessness; I strive to teach them to be fearless in everything they do – even when they are judged, even if others do not agree with them – they should always pursue their lifes’ dreams and learn from their mistakes … failure is proof you’ve tried, and we’ve always learnt from failures.
Determination – No matter how many times we fall and how many times we may feel to have failed, I hope their determination will always help them get back on their feet and to try again.
5) Can you tell us your about most cherished moment/s with your kids?
My most cherished moments are definitely our family vacations. Our daily lives for all of us; my husband and I with work, my children with school and extra curriculum activities are busy ones. So whilst we always make time for one another everyday, our family vacation times are definitely moments when we all switch-off and walk away of our life responsibilities and when the entire 24 hours during this short time belong only to each other.
6) How do you plan to spend Mother’s Day this year?
This day is still unplanned, unfortunately whilst I am a big planner my husband is not, which is very annoying for my inner control freak. However, the boys and my husband know that no matter what it is that we will be doing, I will be happiest when spending this day with my boys.
7) What word would your children use to describe you?
I always try avoid speaking for others, even when these are my own 6 year old boys. I’ve asked them and Zak says ”Love” and Adam ”Beautiful”.