Family, WooCommerce, and women in the workplace

It has been almost a week since I wrote a post! This is unlike me. Usually I’m bursting at the seams with things to say. Lots of things have happened this week too but for some reason I just haven’t felt like writing.

Dad left last Monday which was sad. We all enjoyed having him around. Daniel had said earlier in the week, “I like having Granddad here. How much longer will he live?”. I think Granddad can take that as a compliment. This is one of the downsides of living far away from family: we only get to see them every now and again.

Then on Tuesday there was some big, big news at work. Automattic, the company I work for, acquired WooCommerce. The atmosphere at work has been one of jubilation and excitement. Suddenly there were lots of new faces around. It felt a bit like a large gathering at a children’s birthday party. Matt’s announcement post about it is here:

The acquisition was a friendly one and one that both companies entered into voluntarily. The culture of both companies is very similar in that we each have a distributed work force with a passion for open source software. There won’t be any major changes on either side except for some intermixing of staff. This will be entirely voluntary too.

Welcome WooCommerce!

Automattic is a good place to work. I get to choose my hours, I have a lot of autonomy around how I do my job, my team mates are wonderful, and we have lots of great perks. One perk that I’ve just recently discovered is that we get a 2-3 month sabbatical every five years if we want. Not many work places have this. I am coming up to my first year at Automattic and it has flown by. On June 6th I will have been with the company for one year and it has been a good year.

It’s good to be a woman at Automattic. There’s a very respectful atmosphere and being able to work from home makes it much easier to juggle work and family commitments. Employers may wonder how to make themselves attractive workplaces for women but it’s really very easy: allow flexible working hours, introduce maternity/paternity leave, and allow staff to work remotely. Many women who are mothers, myself included, want to be able to drop and collect their children from school. This allows me to talk to the teacher, to meet other parents, and to see my child interact with other children as they arrive at school and when they leave. It sounds like a small thing but it’s important to me.

Elizabeth has chicken pox now. Last night she complained of a headache and we thought she might wake up with spots and she has three or four now. As she was falling asleep she told me she’d like to have breakfast in bed in the morning. And a glass of water. And the iPad. And toast with marmite cut into triangles. Talk about milking it!