My name is Ronnie (Veronica) Cloke Browne and I am the founder of CareerBreak People. In 2001 I began my career break to start a family.
I am a Chemical Engineer by background and at the time I started my break I was working as a Lead Engineer with Esso Petroleum. In order to take an extended career break (longer than the standard maternity provision) I was required to resign which took me out of my work environment and community. Coupled with this, whilst raising a family I found opportunities to get involved in technically related or mentally stimulating activities either limited or difficult to access.
As a full-time mum I have also taken on a number of voluntary activities which have continued my personal development. These include: involvement with the Southern branch of the Energy Institute and as a member of Council; playing and teaching mahjong; holding positions, including chair person, on the School Parents’ Association; managing a junior team at our local cricket club; and organising and helping with numerous local village activities. In 2009 my husband and I founded BRAVE Partners LLP, a niche investment bank specialising in energy, insurance and reinsurance.
I have always believed that there should be a natural career re-entry point for women after extended career breaks. Whilst maternity leave provision does seem to be improving and is significantly better than when I first had children, I feel that the extended career break is very misunderstood. Many people feel under-confident and unable to return to work at a comparable level or subject and often under-utilise their skills. There is a lack of opportunity and understanding afforded to people on either planned or unplanned career breaks. This belief, coupled with my experience, has led me to the inception and founding of CareerBreak People.