INTERVIEW WITH GEMMA LINDEMAN – HEAD OF PEOPLE & CULTURE, KAPICHE
Gemma Lindeman is a superwoman!
If you’re in the tech startup scene in Brisbane, then chances are you’ve probably had the pleasure of meeting Gemma. She’s clever, moves quickly and is a natural-born plate spinner.
Gemma is currently the Head of People & Culture at a startup called Kapiche and after many successful years of working on some world-class events and projects with global brands, she got drawn into the world of entrepreneurs and startups. Gemma ended up joining River City Labs as the program manager where she was for around three years before heading off on maternity leave to have her little girl, Olivia.
Everyone, please let me introduce you to the wonderful Gemma Lindeman.
Gemma, you’re someone in the Brisbane startup space that I think is doing great things in your new role as People and Culture Manager at Kapiche, and you’re also a beautiful mum to a little girl. How are you finding ‘the struggle juggle’ of balancing a shiny and successful career PLUS motherhood?
We have good and bad days…. Some days I’m running from daycare to the office and vice versa feeling like a flustered hot mess and other days I’m calm and collected, feeling proud that I am lucky enough to get to wear both hats.
I currently work 3 days a week and I try to find some pockets in the day, on my days off to check my emails and slack and make sure I can be there for the team.
Tell me, how did you find your parental leave and return to work experience, and how did you decide when the right time to return back to work was?
To be honest, at first, I was completely lost on maternity leave. I have always worked and loved it, often throwing myself in with late nights and weekend work so the adjustment took a while.
At about 6 months I decided to dip my toe back in and do some contract work, then slowly came back 1, then 2 then 3 days week. Then when Olivia was 12 months I really took the plunge into a new role with Kapiche.
When you’re a working mother, it’s common knowledge that mornings can be nothing short of chaotic so I’d love to hear how you start your working day?
We run a tight ship in our house and thankfully we are morning people…and although it can be a mission at times, I can say most days I am able to get to work by around 7:30am. I get everything ready the night before and finish my make-up in the car on the way in but I’m here and ready to go. Coffee in hand of course.
It can be quite confronting asking for what you need from an employer around flexibility. What advice would you give to other working parents wanting to negotiate more flexibility?
Be open and honest about your needs and what it means to have them met. Flexible working arrangements might be needed most by those that have to juggle a family, but in fact, it is becoming the future of any workplace. To be able to give people the accountability and trust to work the best way for them. In some cases, that trust doesn’t happen overnight. It is something that needs a huge amount of effort to practice fully. I attend to my emails on my days off (like most) but I’ve built that trust with my Employer that I will get the job done. Communication is the key here to successfully navigating both flexible and remote working.
Why is flexibility so important as a working parent? And how has it positively impacted your family life?
For me, my output is much better in the morning before everyone arrives at the office so by giving me that flexibility to start earlier my team is getting the best of me. My husband subs in on the days he is in Brisbane (he works away part of the week) and he is the daycare drop-off king whilst I get to leave early to do the pick-up.
What’s the best career advice you’ve been given by another mother?
Lower your expectations… there is no room for perfectionism and being a juggler of many things and people!
Every mum always craves a bit of me time. What do you do to energise and recharge when you get a moment to yourself?
I am a very social person so when I get some time to myself I would much prefer to be out for a long amazing lunch and wines with the girls than any spa treatment. Those girlfriends (whether they have children themselves or not) are the ones who fill the cup up and take me back to my pre-mamma days … for a few hours anyway!
Do you have any hot #mamahacks that you’d like to share?
Batch cooking on the weekends, dry shampoo and a shared parenting calendar called TimeTree!
Ok, so now the most important questions……..
Favourite time of the day is … It is in fact, driving to WORK in the car on my own with my coffee and music for the day!
I’m addicted to …Instant Coffee. As terrible as it sounds, I started drinking it on Mat leave and I still make myself one every morning.
I’m happiest when … Traveling. We are big travelers both before and after bub!
Podcasts or books that inspire you? I like reading blogs, articles and books about People at work. Currently, I am reading – Talent Wins by Ram Charan, Dominic Barton and Dennis Carey
Who Am I? I’m a proud Digital Recruiter at ‘affix’ in Brisbane and I’ve been hanging out in the Marketing & Recruitment space since around 2010. Aside from that, I’m a wife, a Mumma, and an aficionado of Latte Ristretto’s and 90’s Hip Hop.
Say hi here.