Meet Malta's Entrepreneurs: Katja Dingli Bennetti

18th February 2017 – Marie-Claire Grima

Katja Dingli Bennetti, founder of JobsforMumsMalta.com, talks to MaltaChamber.org.mt all about helping women find a work-life balance, inclusive working cultures and the need for flexibility in the workplace.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am 33 years old, married and a proud working mum of five-year old twin boys. After a 14-year career in the travel and hospitality industry I realise today that the word that describes me best is probably multipotentialite for I have many different interests and love working on different projects. In fact, apart from founding www.JobsforMumsMalta.com, I also work part-time as Director of Business Development in a leading destination management company and I import and distribute a specialised range of children’s eyewear brands. You can say that I am a ‘glass half-full’ kinda person and I try to be grateful for all the little things in life.

How did the idea of Jobs for Mums Malta come about?

As a working mum and a career woman, I can understand the challenges of being a woman trying to find a work-life balance in the 21st century. I truly believe that women can be great leaders and great parents as well. I don’t feel that they have to make a choice between the two. So when I came across yet another post on Facebook of a frustrated mum who desperately wanted to work but was finding it incredibly hard, if not impossible, to find job opportunities which allowed her the work-life balance she wanted for herself and her family, I was upset for her and felt that something needed to be done, I simply could not comprehend how a solution did not exist. I thought, so much talent sitting in our homes – lost. A platform that allowed flexible job seekers and employers who were looking for flexible employees to find each other easily was needed.

I decided then to open a Facebook page dedicated to finding and listing flexible job opportunities. I wondered what best to call it, and then thought – keep it simple…Jobs for Mums Malta. I was not expecting the response it got, with over 3,000 likes on the page within only 48 hours! There was no doubt in my mind. It was clear, www.JobsforMumsMalta.com needed to be built.

How was the response to the website?

Mums loved the idea of having a job search engine where the career opportunities listed would more likely be suitable to them - it means that they have options. Right from the beginning we also received a positive response from companies who came across our platform. Immediately we started receiving job opportunity listings and the testimonials we received by the companies who have used our services have been phenomenal.

Did you encounter any difficulties along the way? How did you overcome them?

The greatest difficulty has been challenging the mentality and discussions which many companies have towards the changing culture of flexible working and convincing them of the benefits when adapting flexible working into their business. One of the much-discussed concerns boils often down to trust - how can I know that my employee is really getting the job done from home? - for instance. But in my opinion, if you don’t trust your employees to work remotely, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.

The word flexibility is very broad, also the flexibility that one industry can offer is not and must not necessarily be the same for another. Each company should listen to their employee and see how they can implement family-friendly and flexible working measures. Research shows that employees who have flexibility at their workplace are happier, therefore more productive and loyal to their company and brand. A win-win for all.

What has the most satisfying moment of the Jobs For Mums Malta journey been?

This is turning into quite an adventure and I’m loving every minute of it because what started off as an idea is quickly transforming into a platform which brings together stakeholders, industry players, families and of course mums. Knowing that through www.JobsforMumsMalta.com I can highlight how valid women are at home and in the workplace, and help raise awareness and aid change the culture for a more inclusive workplace culture is immensely humbling and extremely rewarding. The stronger the Jobs for Mums Malta brand gets, the more recruiters are showing interest in creating and listing work opportunities for mums so this is definitely very satisfying. We celebrated our one-year anniversary in January this year – I am very proud and certain that there are very exciting times ahead.

Do you have any tips for working mothers on achieving a good work-life balance?

My advice to women, and not only mums, is to strive to be the best they can be. Never lose yourself, your individuality and your financial freedom. Working helps you keep all those things. Furthermore, work-life balance does not only depend on your employer, but also your partner, family and friends. If you have children, and the father is in the picture make sure to remind them that you are both parents. It’s called parenting and not mumenting, and therefore the responsibilities of the welfare and care of the children belong to both – equally. Above all, do not be too hard on yourself; we all feel we have failed from time to time, the important is that you pick yourself back up and keep going.

As Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her book 'Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead': "A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes."


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