Disko Kids Meets | Digital Mums
With their #WorkThatWorks ethos and a passion for ensuring mums everywhere achieve their perfect work/life balance, Digital Mums are changing the way new mums and businesses need to think about working post-kids. Training mums with in-demand digital media skills helps encourage flexible career paths which fit around family life, whilst also offering businesses high quality, flexible media support which is essential to help them grow. So far, Digital Mums have worked with over 1,000 mums and businesses, with no sign of slowing down any time soon.
We spoke to Nikki, who first set up in business with co-founder Kathryn back in 2012, to find out where their business idea came from and why it's so successful.
Where do you find the inspiration for Digital Mums?
From our mums who do the training. So many of them have these amazing stories of fantastic careers pre-kids and then they’ve either lost their jobs during maternity leave or lost their confidence after being out of the workforce for even just a few months. These are amazingly talented women who the workforce is missing out on. That inspires me every day to provide training that upskills mums with vital digital and social skills so they can go out and hustle for the hours, pay and job they want and are worth.
Tell us a a bit about your flexible working mission...
As a business, we’re all about empowering mums to find work that works around their families. But we also believe flexible working should be the norm for all and not the exception for a ‘lucky’ few. That’s why we founded our #WorkThatWorks Movement and why we recently launched our #CleanUpTheFWord campaign to stop 'flex' being seen as a dirty word. Our research showed that 7 in 10 UK employees want flexible work but over half of them fear it would be viewed negatively by their employer and, despite the government introducing the right to request flex three years ago, only 12% have actually asked for it. This fear factor is most significant amongst millennials, so it’s definitely not just a mum or dad thing. It’s a business thing too and this is so often left out of the conversation (and even the government’s current definition of flex which we’re petitioning to change). Businesses really need to wake up to the huge benefits this way of working can bring; staff retention, increased employee well-being, attracting talent, productivity and business growth.
What did you do before Digital Mums?
I worked at M&C Saatchi handling their social media and also as a PA to the founders, Jeremy Sinclair and David Kershaw, who are now investors in our business. I’ve travelled a lot and spent 4 years in LA and 2.5 years in Toyko, as well as backpacking around Central America in my 20's, so I started my career later than most of my friends.
Do you have any kids?
I don’t, but I do have a French Bulldog, Rolo, who definitely thinks I’m his mum!
Any independent brands you’d like to spread the word about?
I’m a big supporter of independent brands and find out about most of them on Instagram! Selfish Mother does amazing t-shirts and supports lots of charities as does Fequals. We’re all obsessed with slogan tees at Digital Mums and love Essex Mama and Disko Kids!
What kind of music do you listen to?
Unlike the work-wife who is an avid listener of Spotify, I’m more likely to be listening to Smooth FM or Magic! I love music from the 70’s and 80’s.
Party out or party at home - Discuss!
Party at home, for sure! I’m becoming a real homebody these days. So my perfect night in would be to get my best friends over for some food and wine and maybe play a Cards Against Humanity.
What’s next for Digital Mums?
Where do I start?! We’re trialling a number of pilot versions of our training to help more mums find flexible work, one of which is for mums who are working full time. Because of the interactive nature and intensity of our training, we currently recommend you can only take part in it if you work less than 3 days a week. We understand though that so many more mums are ‘stuck’ in full time jobs not knowing how to achieve a flexible work lifestyle and are equally not able to leave their role for financial reasons. We think it will be popular! We’re also piloting our new Diversity Bootcamp this autumn. Drawing on our own experiences of a flexible workforce we want to help other businesses adopt a digitally empowered, agile working model so that ultimately more flexible working opportunities will be available the 7 in 10 UK workers who said they’d like to work in this way.