Osborne featured in Women’s Way Magazine

Osborne’s CEO Shona McManus was recently featured in the following article from Women’s Way magazine.


Becoming a parent literally changes your brain. Researchers have found that brain scans show how there is a decrease of grey matter in the brains of new mums – but this has nothing to do with memory or intelligence or getting rid of brain cells. Rather it’s linked to how the mum may learn to empathise with and subsequently care for her new born and the changes can prevail for up to two years. Pregnant women often find that they become more emotionally charged but this research may reveal an evolutionary link in the role of attachment as it suggests that the changes that occur in the female brain, where other brain cells come into play in the re-organisation, may help a mother understand the needs of her new baby so that she can respond in the right way. Researchers likened the brain changes to the ones  that occur in the developing teenage brain. The brain changes only occurred in mums, and not in dads, suggesting that there is a biological and hormonal link.


Mums, research has found , may be more stressed out that dads too. Not because they’re less able the handle parenting issues but because in general they have largely more to deal with. The research from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, surveyed more that 12,000 parents and found that mothers spend largely more time with their children while getting on with repetitive chores, have less leisure time available to them, and do more things with the kids that aren’t related to having fun, which all has bearing on their overall well being.


Women are the recognised multi-taskers, and research has established that working mums spend an extra 10.5 hours compared to working dads, every week multitasking at home. the hours between 5pm – 8pm were found to be the busiest with mums’ brains zip-wiring between homework, after school activities, dinner, cleaning up and bedtime routine. There is a massive downside to juggling so many different demands. As a result of increased multi-tasking is generally carried out over a number of hours. It’s arguably too much for the brain which goes into stress mode, which explains why you may finally explode in to rage or break down in tears.


In  views of over two thirds of working Irish mothers are anything to go by, you can ‘have it all’ and juggle the work/life balance successfully. ‘The recruitment company Osborne surveyed over 926 working women , with almost half working a 40 hour week. But 80 percent of those surveyed  believe that having children affects how women participate in the workforce while 64 percent stated that having a family hampers a woman’s career progression with 47 percent believing that being a working mother and of a certain age(56 percent) affects the likelihood of landing a dream job. And almost half of those surveyed have never asked for a pay rise or promotion. Shona McManus, CEO of Osborne said: “There are a number of working mothers on our Osborne team, with several of them working four day weeks. This does not stop them achieving what others achieve in a five day week. I believe this is down to higher productivity levels, higher efficiency in business , being more focused on being able to prioritise, which proves it is possible to balance motherhood and a career. I myself am a single working mother and believe that we can have it all. it comes down to focusing on what is important, being efficient, having good childcare and having a stress outlet (for instance I run). Then it is possible to be the best mum, best businesswoman and best work colleague you can be. I recommend offering flexibility to all of your team, not just working mums (or dads). Take a more rounded approach and offer flexibility where you can.”