An important part of International Women’s Day is setting a good example for our children and other women in the community. We love highlighting strong working mothers in our community, so we spoke to Ilona, Nerea and Sheymea, Mums who work for high street opticians Specsavers Ópticas in Spain to find out more about them and get some tips for success and work-life balance.
Ilona is an optical assistant in the Calpe Store and has worked there for more than seven years. Originally from the Netherlands, she speaks five languages and is passionate about women’s rights including equal pay. She has always supported International Women’s Day and the 25N campaign to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. She says that thanks to strong women through history, so much has already been achieved.
“Although there’s still a long way to go, I believe we’re making good progress and will continue to push for equality for myself, my 15-year-old daughter and future generations. I have always attended the 25N events with my daughter since she was born and am proud to now support the initiative as part of my role with Specsavers Ópticas. This year, we collaborated with Calpe Town Hall to show our support for this campaign. As a team where 75% of the staff are women, it’s a cause which is very important to us.”
Fellow optical assistant, Nerea, agrees. “Across the world, we must push for equal pay and flexible working conditions for mothers. As a mother of two, I only work 29 hours per week, which enables me to earn an income, while still having time to bring up my children and I work hard to educate and inform my children about equality and set them a good example.”
Optometrist Sheymae, at Specsavers Ópticas Fuengirola feels that optometry is an excellent career choice for working mothers and has definitely seen a positive change in the number of women working in the field. “In our Fuengirola store 70% of the staff are female and we also have a female store director. The profession has changed considerably and I’m glad women have taken over optometry to this extent. At school I always enjoyed maths, physics and biology. I originally wanted to go into medical school but I also knew that a career in optometry will allow me to have a better work-life balance, while working in a field that I am passionate about.
Now that I’m a mother, that balance is even more important for me, as I want to continue my career development and also be at home to support my young family. I feel like women can have it all. Although it is difficult, with focus, hard work, determination and a little sacrifice you can achieve what you want. I feel empowered by being a working mother and think that working definitely makes me a better mother and motherhood makes me a better worker. I’m fortunate to work for Specsavers Ópticas, a company that also values a positive work-life balance. It’s always easier when your company offers support during pregnancy and the transition back to work. Having such understanding directors, who care about its employee’s family life and needs is crucial.”
Sheymae adds, “the recipe for success is to work smart and hard, prioritising what matters to you and focusing on your goals. Don’t give up, make it happen and don’t forget that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.”
There are Specsavers Ópticas stores on the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Mallorca. Find your nearest Specsavers Ópticas store at www.specsavers.es