When Summer Edwards decided to become a mother, she had a suspicion that this would mean she would have to compromise having as much responsibility as she was used to at work. Sure, she would be able to continue working part-time, as she wanted to, but the reduction in hours would also mean a reduction in responsibility.
This did not sit right with her though. Why was this necessarily the case? Was it not possible to have a position of responsibility, and work part-time, and be a mother? She wondered if this the experience and expectation of other working mothers as well.
From the time I spent chatting with Summer on a beautiful Canberra afternoon, I got the impression that she has an understated way of asking a question, and if the answer she comes up with is not satisfactory, of not letting it go until she has found a way to take action to remedy the situation.
Another example of this is her wondering about whether the approach of only focusing on one thing at a time had universal merit. Wanting to work on three project concurrently, she would often get advice that it would be difficult to make this happen, and that putting all of her energy into one of those things was a better way to go.
Now running her own consulting business helping social enterprise communicate their stories (Social Impact Stories), building Lead Mama Lead – a network of women seeking to find flexible and responsible work, and through her slow and sustainable fashion blog Tortise & Lady Grey, she has found a way to weave these three projects together in a way that gives her flexibility and the challenge she wants in her work.
It was so good to have a chat with the first Canberran subtle disruptor, something that Summer is living in word and action. I hope you enjoy our conversation.