Schneider Electric's Paulina Chrobak enjoys work-life balance

 May 10, 2017

Appreciating that diversity unlocks innovation and fosters collaboration, Schneider Electric maintains processes to identify female talent and to accelerate their careers. This includes offering both female and male employees the opportunity to pursue flexible work options to help them attain a greater work-life balance. 

In recognition of the International Day of Families, we spoke to women at Schneider Electric who are sucessfully balancing family life with rewarding careers:

Meet Paulina Chrobak who works as a Software Validation Engineer at Schneider Electric:

Can you tell us about your role at Schneider Electric?

I currently have a pleasure of working as a Software Validation Engineer. My main responsibility within R&D department is testing and validating the software that drives the Eurotherm product range. I also plan and write software test specifications. My main focus is to learn about the new products and predict areas likely to fail and design tests.

How would you describe your career journey?

I would describe my career journey as very exciting and challenging but also very fulfilling. I have always believed that every person can do anything if they put their mind to it. When I took my first position as Assembly Operator in Eurotherm 10 years ago I didn’t know what the future held for me, but I was sure that I wanted to learn and grow within the company. I have taken the opportunity to move to the next role as Quality Inspector. It was so different to my previous role. I have more responsibilities and a lot to learn but my knowledge and self-confidence has developed quickly.

Accepting the position of Software Engineer was very difficult decision for me. I had my doubts and fears. What if my knowledge is not good enough and how will I cope with all that new responsibilities? My company again believed in me, providing me with a College course and all needed support. Taking time off from work and college to become a mother was a big change in my life. After my maternity leave I have come back to work part time with full support from my company and my family.

What are some of the exciting projects you have worked on at Schneider Electric?

I have worked on lots of interesting projects. One of my main focuses is to make sure that customers are satisfied with our products quality and functionality. This is very important as our products are used in fascinating places like nuclear power stations, food and beverage industry, water treatment facilities and hospitals.

How did you make a request for flexible working – what process did you have to follow?

I have applied for flexible working by sending flexible working application to my manager. All information how and when to apply can be found in Eurotherm Flexible Working Policy. My application has been approved and the meeting with my manager has been organised to discuss my new working arrangement.

Do you feel it has made any impact on your ability to progress at Schneider Electric and how has the company supported you?

Coming back to work as part time employee did not have any negative impact on my ability to progress at Schneider Electric. The company has supported my choice and arranged my work to fit perfectly into my family life. I have been given all opportunities to attend meetings and courses at time which was convenient for me. At that point I have re-joined the College and NVQ studies and my manager has allocated time for my study and supports me with my work and collage projects. Also ability of take the time off for dependants helped me with family emergency situations.

Do you have any advice to give mother’s wanting to return to work or those pursuing a flexible work pattern? 

My advice will be to not be afraid to try to return to work and also to speak openly with your manager to find the best way to bring together family and work life. I know how scary and stressful it could be to arrange the child care and decide to come back to work. I have been in this situation before. Coming back as part time employee was very frightening. I was not sure how I will cope with taking care of my young child and coming back to work. Coming back part time has been a good decision for me I could fulfil my ambition at work and don’t feel like I have abandoned my family. And all you mums out there - you will enjoy your peace and quiet day at work.

Schneider Electric has many initiatives supporting the advancement of women's careers through to executive level including diversity days, maternity leave policy, network activities, women leaders events, gender workshop for leaders, women in leadership program and more. Why not get on board and take a look at these current vacancies with this top employer.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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