- Who are you?
My name is Kathryn Dyer and I am 36 years old (I sometimes forget how old I am – should I be worried about that?) and I work for Digital Mums training women in social media management so they can work flexibly around their family lives.
- Where are you from?
I’m Sheffield born and bred. Studied at Norton College and then after a ‘right of passage’ teenage holiday in Newquay that turned into working as a summer ice cream girl in a beach cafe there, decided to study Illustration and Advertising at Falmouth College of Arts. Despite my utter fear of deep sea water I enjoyed the outdoor life that living in Cornwall offered – snorkelling after work and bbqs on the beach, as well as the damp quiet winters!
- What do we need to know about you?
I’m a long (suffering) Sheffield Wednesday fan, allotment dweller and food and wine appreciator! On a professional level, after graduating I went on to work within marketing and events for numerous businesses including a restaurant, paint your own ceramics cafe and interior design shop, all in Falmouth where I stayed for 7 years in total. It was here that I met my now husband Joe who is a East London boy through and through and in 2006 we decided to leave Cornwall and move up to London. I worked in marketing and web development for an architecture firm for 7 years and when on maternity leave with my first child, daughter Nell, I was made redundant. This was not unexpected but it did utterly throw me and the thought of a) trying to find a new job and b) in something that was flexible enough to accommodate my new lifestyle as a working mother filled me with dread and started to make me lose my confidence in my professional abilities. I must admit, I did the usual, or rather ‘traditional’, things of looking online for job vacancies and signing up to various recruitment companies but it was feeling very overwhelming, as well as dealing with the ‘mother’s guilt’ of leaving my child in the care of someone else! But, fate intervened and after chatting with a friend from my NCT group, she told me about an idea her friends (Nikki Cochrane and Kathryn Tyler) had and they were piloting a scheme to train women in social media management for businesses. To cut a long story short – I applied and got on the pilot scheme, completed the course and was then matched with a restaurant and events space in London. After a year of working as a freelance social media manager, Digital Mums approached me and asked if I would like to join the team on a permanent basis and work directly for them as their Course Facilitator…..so that is what I now do. Once someone has been accepted onto either of the Digital Mums training courses, they get handed over to the team I’m part of and for the next 20 weeks of their life they train to become new social media managers, and I help them on their way. We’ve been nicknamed ‘Captains of the Mothership’ by some of the trainees which I found hilarious!
It seemed as though fate intervened at a point when I really wasn’t sure what my life as a working mother was going to look like. Digital Mums has opened up so many new opportunities to me and after having my second child recently, I feel 100% enthusiastic about my future career and have no worries about making it work for me and my family – as Digital Mums is all about promoting flexible working. It’s really opened my eyes to how gender biased the traditional workplace can be too, something I was surprisingly ignorant about, and I’m really proud to work for a company that is promoting flexible working…not only promoting it, but proving it can work.
- Where can we find your business/product?
Website – http://digitalmums.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DigitalMumsHQ
Instagram – @digitalmums
Twitter – @DigitalMumsHQ
- What is your favourite thing to do as a family?
We moved to Walthamstow (I’m still to discover the houses when E17 grew up!) over two years ago and we love taking a long walk through the local marshes. It’s great to live in the capital city but have such close access to wide open space and nature. Our daughter calls it the Windy Marshes. We always stop half way through for a coffee and sausage sandwich and one of those fruity bear rolls for Nell (blatant bribery to sit still) in the cafe that sits next to the canal. Watching the local rowers and swans amble past is a pretty fine way to spend a Sunday morning with the family.
- Top mama tip
Wing it. I kept wanting to find the ‘right’ way of doing something, for someone to give me the answer. But when it comes to children you’ve just got to follow your instinct and trust yourself. It’s one of the hardest jobs I’ve done being a Mum – peace keeper, nutritionist, dental hygienist, fashion stylist, costume designer, entertainer, pack horse, weightlifter etc. Nikki (my boss) once said something that really resonated with me – that my best IS good enough…we’re not perfect, but try our best and laugh along the way. Oh yeah, and always have fish fingers in the freezer! As much as I would love to say my daughter eats only organic quinoa and steamed vegetables, she doesn’t. And I love dipping that ‘extra/ spare’ fish finger in the ketchup too!
- Your mama confession
Hahaha this has thrown me a bit – ermmmmmm……I’m wondering how long it will take my daughter to realise that her hair won’t grow like Elsa’s if she eats all her dinner.
Kathryn will be coming to talk at Mama Social on Friday 27th May. 10:30-12 at The Showroom