Balancing motherhood and career development: it's possible

With a successful 20-year career in IT management in the financial services sector at firms such as Accenture, EDS and most recently, Standard Chartered Bank, Natasha Davydova is now taking her career to a brand new level. 
The newly-appointed managing director of group technology and operations at Deutsche Bank talked excitedly to Computer Weekly about her new role, which will see the bank’s IT moving away from the current silo-driven approach.  
Like many other working mothers, Davydova faces the daily challenge of balancing motherhood and career development. It isn’t easy, she said, but it isn’t impossible either. 
“People often assume that you have to sacrifice your family life to have an accomplished career, but often you see women who have three or four children who still managed to achieve a huge amount,” Davydova said. 
“Many people [at work] were actually surprised that I had a child, but in the end it all depends on your levels of stamina and whether you have a stable home front,” she said.
Davydova added that she did not face the dilemma that many senior female executives often experience when deciding to become a mother as she had proven her capacity and earned a reputation that was already solid, so having a child did not impact her development in a negative way. 
Advice from the IT chief to fellow female managers  considering to start a family includes setting up a strong support network, which could include family members or a reliable nanny. She added that being upfront with employers is also a must, despite the fact many companies already allow for considerable flexibility towards new mothers. 
“Also, do not believe that it is only you who has got a problem – there are many professional mothers around and you are definitely not alone,” she concluded. 
Head of the computer science department at University of Westminster and active supporter of women in technology groups and mother of four kids, Sue Black reinforces Davydova’s point and offers her own top tips:
1. Build up a network of friends/mentors at home and at work; 
2. Be true  to your priorities; 
3. Don’t take abuse from anyone;
5. If in doubt, ask your support network.