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Hopscotch Heroes - Sarah Rebello

5-min read.  Balancing family life and work life is no easy task, so we created Hopscotch Heroes to celebrate and share lessons from those who are out there giving it a good go!  Whether in sport, business, entrepreneurship, the arts or at the top of their game, these are women who are winning in their fields, whilst adopting to strategies alongside their partners to keep free time and home lives on track.  This month, we sit down with HR expert and Education Director at Singapore agency, Sparkline, to talk about her approaches, ideas and background.

Hopscotch: Hello Sarah!  Tell us about what you do and what this looks like on a daily basis.
Sarah: Sometimes a day to day for me is quite hard to predict, which is the way I like it! It certainly keeps me on my toes and I am learning so much in my current role which is a hybrid of HR and Training Consultancy. I work for a company called Sparkline, we are Digital Analytics Consultants who work with companies across APAC to access and make sense of their Data in order to make better business decisions. 
I help to build the team here internally and develop their own journeys and opportunities through goal setting and career opportunities. I am also responsible for the Training Programmes we develop which centre around Data Analytics. Training is a slightly newer arm to our business and we are rapidly developing online learning programmes, workshop training and designing bootcamp programmes in conjunction with the Singapore government. Our aim is to help fuel the industry, offering more opportunities to those who are looking to build a career in Digital Data Analytics and even those transitioning from different careers which I think is particularly interesting in this market.  As a company we also run Consulting projects for our clients, build tools and products and deliver analytics which help to drive digital transformation forward thanks to having deeper insights into their own business. 

H: What is your family background/current situation and how has this influenced your life today?
S: I have been married to Darren for nearly six years; my husband and I have known each other practically all our lives which has certainly influenced my journey, we have grown up together and always support each other professionally and personally of course! I think having a shared love of working and building our careers has helped us get where we are today. Darren and I have two young boys, Oscar and Theo 18 months and 3 years old respectively. So as you can imagine life is busy, hectic at times, but we wouldn't have it any other way. We love the life we have built here through hard work, having great friends and mentors around us and an understanding family who appreciate what we have achieved and what we are working towards for our boy's future.
 
H: How do you keep work and family life balanced?  What are your ‘go to’ coping strategies?
S: Keeping work and life balanced is a constant challenge for sure, I think the network we have built in Singapore is integral to our happiness and sanity! Having good friends we can socialise with and lean on for support and those that understand the challenges of balancing everything as well means a lot to us. So this would also be a strategy of mine, work hard but enjoy life when you can and learning not to stress the small things, I am still working on that and being able to give myself credit for the positive things I have done and am working on. Something my time at Sparkline has taught me, it's ok to fail fast if you can learn faster! I must also say that here in Singapore the support structure with our wonderful helpers offers families the opportunity to build careers and raise families at the same time, same can't be said in some parts of the world and our fabulous helper is part of our family, we couldn't do what we do without her. Women that do these jobs to support their families back home need to be celebrated for the sacrifice they make too. 

H: What does women’s empowerment mean to you? 
S: Women's empowerment for me is all about balance and opportunities. At Sparkline we are a female-led business. Our CEO Aleetza built this business from the ground up and all while expecting her second child which I am still in awe of as a working mother myself. We can have all the opportunities we want, it's hard work but it's about grabbing the chances we are given and running with them and a lot of hard work goes with it for sure. Again it's the people around us as well, building strong teams professionally, respecting and developing people and ensuring we all have the access to grow and success in whatever we choose to do. 
I really admire women leaders like Aleetza and all the other female leaders particularly in our field as it is very rare to come across in Technology. To achieve this level of success and balance this with family life is really hard work and a lot of sacrifice comes with it. So I think these examples of where women are working to achieve all their life goals and showing us all how it is done, that is hugely empowering and inspirational. 

H: What keeps you moving forward and what threatens to hold you back?
S: What keeps me moving forward is being an example to my children, maybe even more so as they are boys, that I can be a great Mum to my kids and achieve career success as well. This has always been important to me, I love working and developing my own career path. Perhaps sometimes the guilt of doing this with a very young family at home threatens to hold me back and I think as women we tend to question ourselves a lot and hold ourselves back when it comes to having the confidence to just grab the opportunities and run with them.  I am now working in a role where I am learning so much, developing each day and having the chance to support the growth of a business and it's people for that I am grateful, very excited about what the future holds but also proud of what I have achieved and also confident my children will view it this way too when they are old enough to understand how hard Mum, and Dad of course, have worked to ensure they have the best start in life....that's pretty much what it is all about for me! 

For more Hopscotch Heroes, check out our News page and if you'd like to be considered, do get in touch with us at info@hopscotch.work.


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