Friday interview: June Angelides
This week, I met June Angelides, a business woman and a mum extremely concerned about removing the barriers to entry into Technology and business in general.
Tell us a little bit about your company Mums in Technology.
Mums in Technology was envisioned whilst on maternity leave. I had an idea for an app and desperately wanted to code so I did a lot of research into courses I could attend in person and realised there weren’t any that were convenient for me to attend with my new handbag, Ivy. So I thought, there must be other Mums in exactly the same situation, wanting to learn but automatically excluded if they have a little one. The company plans to run 8-week mini child-friendly bootcamps for Mums (Dads are welcome too!) to help with business ideas, training and providing a safe networking environment where even nappy-changing is allowed!
How do you juggle motherhood and a business at the same time?
It’s not easy, a lot of late nights. I have a very active toddler and a newborn so I work when they are sleeping mostly. I am a firm believer in balance and want to nurture my children as much as I can. I have a lot of love to give and believe that with effective time management, it is possible to have both a career and loving family home.
Do you think the tech sector is welcoming of mums in tech?
I think there is still a long way to go, particularly in training. I believe it’s mainly a mindset. I think Mums also have to make a stand and ask questions, turn up at events. No one actually says that Mums can’t attend these events with their children but we worry so much about our children being disruptive to others that we automatically exclude ourselves. I recently attended an info-session at General Assembly and cannot how express how welcoming they were of Ivy and I. However, I believe that the tech sector offers a lot of flexibility to Mums so I would really like to encourage them to explore training, especially during maternity leave and approach tech companies about entry level positions.
What were the main challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
I am still encountering challenges as I raise awareness about the program. The process of starting my business has made me respect entrepreneurs so much more, having experienced the challenges myself. Perhaps one of my main challenges has been personal brand awareness. Someone I admire once said, “Think about your personal brand and own it”. At the time I didn’t appreciate just how much bearing that would have in my life. We take our skills and experiences for granted without realising how much they shape who we are and what we become known for. So I am still understanding my personal brand but I also believe that it will continue to change as I learn and encounter more experiences.
Any advice for people who struggle with work-life balance?
Yes, speak up! I think this is where people struggle. Tell whoever you are working for about your challenges. There is a chance they are not aware about how you are feeling. Also, if you are working for yourself always remember that there is a high chance of burning out if you overdo it. Set yourself goals and timelines and stick to them. Sleep, eat and make sure you laugh!
Facebook: Mums in Technology
June is one of the mentors at the Migrant Business Accelerator.
If you wish to help migrants become entrepreneurs and change their lives for the better, get in touch with This Foreigner Can Social Enterprise.