Womenlines proudly shares about Ms Sher-li Torrey , founder and owner of the Singapore-based organisation Mums@work, a social enterprise that helps women find the work-life balance which every woman dreams of achieving. It is said that we are destined to find a solution to any problem if it is giving us itch and it goes so true with Sher-li.After becoming mother Sher-li was unable to find any platform which could have helped her to get information to manage work life balance in her life. This itch resulted in birth of Mums@work.It is amazing to follow her 4 years journey for Mums@work which started from giving opportunity to women to network and later also gave them chance to learn new skills to empower themselves.
Today Mums@Work has a staggering 11,500 members and the business has continued to evolve. One development is the ‘mumpreneur’ (entrepreneurial mums) section of the organization that was inspired by hearing working women saying that the flexible work arrangements with employers were not working out for them. This led many women to become entrepreneurs and thus creating job opportunity not only for themselves but for others too. Mums@work is right place for working mothers who want to look out for flexi arrangements and also for women entrepreneurs who want to learn skills regarding starting their own business. Read about interesting journey she went through while evolving Mums@work in Sher-li’s own words-
1. Please share with our readers little bit about yourself ?
I am a mother of 2 small children and I am inspired by women leaders.
2. So when did you venture into this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?
After becoming a mother myself, I decided that I wanted to look for flexi-work arrangements. In 2010, this was quite rare, and as my search was very challenging – I had an idea: why not start a site myself?
So Mums@Work was born. In the process, I discovered there were also women like myself, who ran a small business from home (Mumpreneurs) and that’s when I started to create a subgroup that caters to them as well.
3. Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days ?
The concept of my business is very unique – many people didn’t know what flex-work was (at that time) and also didn’t understand how Mums@Work operated. The initial stages had a few hiccups, because I had to go out there and convince people of a concept that I felt would work out.
4. So how do you balance your personal and professional life ?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have no balance. Lol.
But to be honest, it’s because I am doing what I love – managing business and work is easier. In addition, I don’t peg work and family into clear boxes (I am what you call a “fusionist”) so it’s a little taxing on my brain, but I kind of put on the multi-tasking ability 24 hours a day.
5. What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own ?
Looking back, I have come to realise that the most important thing is to KNOW WHAT YOU WANT. There will always be obstacles (what ever path you choose). If you are clear why you are doing what you do (Your motivations, your reasons and your ultimate goal), then whenever things go wrong, you turn back to your start point and ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” – that awareness really helps to put things in perspective and also act as a guiding light for all the smaller decisions that you make.
6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired you?
Cliché as it sounds, my mother was my greatest inspiration. She passed a year after Mums@Work had started – but she gave me reason to believe that taking a role that was half at home and half at work was the best deal for the family. Growing up, she always celebrated our attempts to “make a difference”. One of her favourite lines was “Why be ordinary? Do something that stands out. Do something that you can be proud of”.
It’s my guide to life and I often think back to the childhood I had – because of her career choices. She worked and also was home 4 hours a day. In many ways, the amount of time she spent with us was valuable – and I cherished that and hope to able to provide that kind of support for women.
7. What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s future development?
We have a few exciting events coming up, including the first Singapore Mumpreneur of the Year award & mama’s bazaar. So that’s very exciting for me!
Womenlines wishes all the best to Sher-li for a successful and bright future with her initiative Mums@work!