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How I'm enjoying a genuine work-life balance

Angela Thompson head and shoulders photo

I’m a senior portfolio manager and a mum.

I joined DWP Digital in June 2019 working in the Central Portfolio & Delivery Assurance team. I also provide direct support to the Children, Retirement & Counter-Fraud function.

I have a 4-year old daughter who is currently trying to be as independent as possible (which doesn’t always match up with my need to manage time extremely efficiently!), and I also volunteer as a school governor.

Why I applied for a role in DWP Digital

The difference with working here is that I feel like I matter. I can bring my whole self to work and feel supported in everything I do. Before joining DWP Digital I’d spent around 10 years in the financial sector and I was looking for a change.

Initially, I was attracted to the opportunity to be involved in transforming government services. It’s not often you get the chance to work on things which have such a big impact. Everything we do really makes a difference, as millions of people count on our services every day.

I was also drawn to improving services for children. It’s something I’m really passionate about as a lot of what I choose to do outside of work links to children and improving things for them. Working alongside the teams who are making a difference to children in the UK is really exciting.

What makes it such a great place to work

I’ve been here for just over a year now and I can see there are many more benefits over and above enjoying what I do every day.

I can work flexibly – be that in terms of the hours I work, or where I choose to work. My work-life balance is genuinely valued and I’m no longer juggling my career with parenting.

In practice this means managing my own time on a daily basis. Some days I’m able to work a little longer than others and I can accrue time on the days when I do extra. This banked time helps me out on days where I have to do the nursery run and, just before Christmas, I built up some time to go to my daughter’s Christmas nativity. It was invaluable to be able to do that and it was great not dashing in at the last minute. I actually got a front row seat!

My team is spread across several of our hub sites so we’re all used to working together remotely. I’ve got a laptop and most of our meetings are run using Skype, so it doesn’t matter where I am physically. It’s a great feeling of empowerment and trust to work in a way which is best for both me and the organisation. The benefits have been even more apparent during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. I’ve been able to work from home every day, knowing that I can be just as productive and that I can focus on the wellbeing of myself and my family.

DWP Digital also supports the volunteering work I do as a school governor, something which is really important to me. I’m able to take special volunteering leave and attend meetings without worrying about how I’ll fit it in. I feel that this allows work and the school to get the best value from me.

Women in Digital

Angela being filmed as part of the Digital Voices programme
Angela being filmed as part of the Digital Voices programme

Another big attraction for me was joining a digital organisation which is committed to redressing the gender balance in digital and tech roles. Women continue to be under-represented in the digital sector but 35% of the new recruits into DWP Digital last year were women – one of them was me!

I’m passionate about seeing women succeed in their career and opening doors for the younger generation. Recently I’ve been lucky to secure a place on the Digital Voices programme, which is focused on improving confidence and engagement in women, helping them to become visible role models. I’m hopeful that by completing the programme I’ll be better equipped to tell others my story: what I do every day and about our work in DWP Digital.

And I hope I might be able to inspire some more women to join me on the journey.

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  1. Comment by Samantha Hancock posted on

    Angie it has been lovely to read your comments about how you have found working in DWP Digital since you joined the team last year. You are a great colleague to work with and very inspirational. Good Luck with Digital Voices, look forward to hearing more about your journey on that.

  2. Comment by Angela Eblett posted on

    Wonderful piece Ange - it seems a lifetime ago when I was juggling toddlers with work and I am so pleased to say it is much, much better now for women in the Civil Service - also delighted to see you are enjoying you role in Digital - what a great advocate for Digital career women you are - Thank You 😀

  3. Comment by Chris Francis posted on

    Brilliant blog Ange. So wonderful to hear that your work, life, balance has transformed since joining DWP Digital. I can definitely relate to being able to juggle work and those school commitments and be that effective worker and supportive parent 🙂

  4. Comment by Cheryl Stevens posted on

    Great blog Ange, hard to believe you are only a year in with how you handle (juggle) the day to day and keep us all on the right path. So good to hear the positive impact on you and your Daughter too.

  5. Comment by Margaret Gordon posted on

    Loved your story Ange, you are an inspiration to all young people not just women. Great pictures too! We miss you in D&A though!

  6. Comment by Sara Maddison posted on

    Brilliant blog Ange, you are extremely inspiring and bring so much to our team - I feel honoured to work with you. Having the right balance across work and life is so important and being able to be a Mum, juggle a demanding job and also influence through the work you do as a school governor is impressive. So pleased we get to share our Digital Voices journey together.