Candice Czeremuszkin didn’t want to choose between having a family and a career, so she chose both.
Two months after giving birth to her first child, she was officially signed off as an auditor. Before his third birthday, she had progressed to becoming a partner at Moore Stephens Cayman.
It’s a career curve that involved navigating many challenges and making a lot of sacrifices, but she says she is grateful to work for a firm that made it possible.
“Not every employer would have been OK with letting me progress when I was about to have a kid. I know women who chose not to have a child because of that.”
Czeremuszkin, 31, said timing when to have a family around her career was a difficult challenge.
“There was a lot of consideration in terms of timing. When you are trying to achieve a particular career goal that is part of the equation for any woman anywhere in the world.
“I got to the point where I realised if I wanted to have a family, I had to just go for it.”
She took just six weeks off after her son was born. Even during her leave she was answering emails and was available to clients and coworkers when they needed her.
While she would have liked more time off, she recognises finding people to cover vital positions for lengthy periods is challenging, particularly if work permits are involved.
She believes more leave for fathers or flexible working arrangements for mums could be part of the solution.
“I absolutely don’t see why someone should be punished for having a child. There has to be something that works for both sides,” she said.
There is currently no mandatory leave for dads in Cayman. Several other jurisdictions offer paternity leave or the option for parents to split the mandatory leave time.
“When you think of what you go through when you have a child and your significant other gets a few days vacation and then you are left to figure it out by yourself – I think more emphasis could be placed on the spouse to get some time off.”