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A graduate mum

Dipika’s story

When Dipika became a mum, she was only just finishing her studies. Since joining Audit and Assurance on the graduate scheme, she has learnt to balance parenthood alongside launching her career. We speak to her about her challenges and successes.

Getting started

When Dipika joined the Graduate Programme in Audit and Assurance in 2019, her situation was a little different to her peers. Three weeks before her final exams at Queen Mary University in London, she gave birth to her daughter, who is now four years old. “I grew up in Bangladesh and my husband and I married before coming to the UK to study. I then fell pregnant in my final year of university,” she says. Although she knew that having a baby while she was completing her degree would not be easy, she rose to the challenge. “Luckily I had time to prepare because I knew what was coming. I studied well in advance and my parents came over to help when she arrived. It wasn’t easy getting through the final exams but my preparation paid off and I passed with first class honours.”



Life as a new mum

Rather than jumping into work, Dipika spent quality time with her daughter before applying to the Deloitte graduate programme, which was recommended to her by a friend. “It seemed like there was a great work/life balance which was important to me as a new mum and the teams were really friendly.” Although none of her peers had young children when she joined, she found that everyone was extremely supportive and understanding of their different lifestyles. Dipika had additional support from one of her directors, who’d recently had a baby, and could offer advice and support around juggling childcare with a busy new job. “As a young mum, finances were a concern to me,” she says. “Nursery is really expensive and most people have a baby when they’re more advanced in their career. My team has always been really supportive though and encouraged me to ask for help when I need it.” Due to Deloitte’s flexible working policies, Dipika is able to work from home when she needs to, and manage her work around school pick-up times. “When I first became a parent I think the juggling act was really hard, but I am definitely getting into the swing of it now and working in such a flexible environment has really helped. If I need to log off and finish something later it’s never a problem.”



A career in Assurance

Dipika chose the Audit & Assurance service line because it closely reflected her studies in economics and finance, and would give her the scope she needed to grow and expand. She has already had three promotions since joining the firm, and now works as an assistant manager in analytics and modelling. “We work closely with the Audit teams on risk assessments. We analyse data trends and build dashboards according to client’s requirements, risk assessment dashboards being one of them.” While she says many people believe that careers in Audit and Assurance are rigid and specific, she’s found the opposite to be true. “In reality there’s so many different teams and lots of room for creativity. For example, the way we create our dashboards for analysis is fun, because we are often building the tool from scratch.”



Diversity and inclusion

As well as working hard at her day job, Dipika is a diversity and inclusion rep for her team, and has recently supported the completion of a survey to help find new ways to increase inclusivity. “I like the fact that Deloitte is not only diverse and inclusive, but always looking for new ways to further improve and attract more diverse talent to our firm,” she says. “For example, we know that in certain areas- such as analytics and modelling- we tend to get more male applicants compared to female applicants.” As a woman working in the sector, Dipika highly recommends it, because as well as providing an inclusive culture, she’s also had all the training she needs to succeed. “I think women are more likely to shy away from roles because they feel they don’t have every credential they might need. But Deloitte offers many learning and development opportunities to help people build new skills for their role,” she says. While Dipika is now enjoying her current role, she’s eager to see what the future will bring. “I feel as though I’m supported here to develop my career in the way that feels best suited to me. Now that I’ve settled into life as a working parent I am really getting into my stride.”

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