Quick Fire Email Interview, with Sally-Anne Stevens, CEO of B Public Relations.
Sally-Anne Stevens, 38, is the CEO and Founder of B Public Relations, a global leading communications agency specialising in Fashion, Beauty, VIP, Talent and Social Media. She has 2 children, aged 4 and 7 months, and lives in London.
1/. What were or are the biggest challenges you faced going back into the work place after children? Aside from the usual conflict of guilt for not being with my children 24/7, it was finding time for myself to de-stress and exercise. Up early and often in the night too with the kids and then working all day in Central London, travelling home then dinner and bath/bedtime with the kids, I found myself exhausted and running on empty so I had to ensure I made time to really look after myself. I started Yoga in the office and a PT early in the morning before work which really helped my mind space.
2/. How do you achieve your work life balance of career woman and mother? I have a 4 year old son and 6 month old daughter, I didn’t really take maternity leave with either. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful Nanny who helps us so much and is a fantastic friend to me too. I do really throw myself in to my work and when I reach the point of thinking, actually I haven’t seen enough of my kids this week, I am fortunate enough that I can press pause and take a day out of the office with little planning to be with my children. It is a different level of being super organised when you have two under five, a business and a husband. Of course I still want to feel like me too and see my friends and I find that time out with friends or my husband is really important for me to be a better mum and have really enjoyable, fun time with the children where I am not super tired.
3/. If you could give your past self-one piece of advice about being a working mother what would it be? Keep the fact that the business will not collapse without you and your children need you. Delegate those meetings, you really need not attend every single one, clients and contacts understand you cannot be everywhere at all times. Cut yourself some slack!
4/. Have your career goals and aspirations altered since becoming a working mother from that prior to your children? I think I have become even more driven, I want my children to understand the value of education and wealth but to have access to everything they need. They have a wonderful nanny, private education, travel the world, they are very fortunate and I want to ensure they have a solid future. Getting on the property ladder is going to be impossible when they are 20+ I’m driven knowing that I want to buy them both a property and set them up for success and happiness in their lives.
5/. What are your future goals in your career path in the next few years, what do you hope to achieve? We are currently evolving the B brand, launching a talent management division and growing our services for the U.S. This is a very exciting year for us!
6/. If you had the power to change one thing in the business market for working mothers, what would you change? Ability to take children to work. We have 35 women in my office, three of us have children – in fact Holly (Managing Partner) and I had our baby girls just 12 hours apart! A creche on Berners Street would be amazing! The flexibility to swap maternity and paternity the way they do in Northern Europe would be fantastic.
7/. What is the best piece of business advice you have been given? Believe in yourself and never allow negative thoughts to enter your thought process – a can do – will do approach to everything!
8/. What question would you wish to ask our next working mother who takes this short interview? What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in the workplace? Have you done this openly and how was it received? FYI – we do at BPR! No woman should be shamed into retiring to a dingy cupboard like room to breastfeed her child.
9/. If you could recommend one book to our readers leisure or business what would it be? Thrive by Ariana Huffington
10/. Cecile Reinuad – Founder of Seraphine asks in what way has having children changed your career goals? They empower me, drive me and also after a really hard day or difficult time a hug from my son or daughter just melts the stress away. They are everything!
Take a look at Mothers Mean Business here.