Working mums: a broad Church

It's hard work being a celebrity mum. But it's even harder if you actually have a proper job...

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The revelation that showbiz personality Charlotte Church is expecting her second child with rugby player boyfriend Gavin Henson (announced on her website with an exclamation-mark-heavy: ‘Here we go again!!!’) has been big news today – much like it appears to be big news whenever fellow celeb Myleene Klass goes anywhere with baby Ava on her arm. In fact, Klass was recently given the prestigious crown of Celebrity Mum of the Year, following in the illustrious footsteps of Jordan, Kerry Katona (twice) and Sharon Osbourne (which tells you everything you need to know about that award).

Since both Church and Klass still seem to be keeping up their TV appearances, we suppose they’re both technically working mothers. But we’re not sure how useful they are as role models to the thousands of women who combine childcare with proper jobs every day of the week – but usually without the help of a nanny, a personal assistant, a stylist, a publicist and a permanently on-hand camera crew. So we were also pleased to see some less celebrated mothers being recognised for their achievements at the latest mother@work awards, which this year were hosted by Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah at 11 Downing Street (no word on whether Alistair Darling was banished to the nearest pub for the duration).

Geeta Sidhu Rhobb (a former corporate lawyer who these days juggles her role as a mother-of-three with being an entrepreneur, author and nutrition specialist - as you do) took the top individual award of Most Exceptional Working Mother, while Microsoft came top of the corporate pops, named Employer of the Future for its mum-friendly policies – which include free health checks at on-site Wellbeing Centres, support groups, children’s Christmas parties, flexible working and even an on-site crèche.

Microsoft marketing manager Claire Smyth, who’s enjoyed the full gamut, certainly had some glowing praise for her employer (as you’d expect, to be fair, given that they asked her to speak). Her daughter Gianna now spends three days a week at Microsoft’s on-site nursery in Reading, which ensures she’s never far away. Says Claire: ‘The nursery on campus is fantastically convenient and means I don’t have to race about all over town to drop off and pick up Gianna.’ Thus leaving Mum more time to sit at her desk and fret about Google...

Of course not every company will have the resources to offer so much support, but it’s still good to see big corporates setting a progressive example. In fact, with back-up like this, Charlotte and Myleene know who to call for a job if their next chat show flops...

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