Finding out you’re pregnant can often be a time of high emotions, but what if you were also in the middle of applying for your dream role? Should you tell the interview team the news or keep it to yourself? If you did let them know, would it harm your chances of securing the position? And if you then successfully landed the job, what happens next?
This is the exact situation Angeles Miranda found herself in during her application to work at Ampol.
“When I got the call that I was one of the two final candidates, I had just found out I was pregnant with my second child. I didn’t know what to do and thought through all the negatives: that I wouldn’t be there long before I’d have to go on parental leave, that nobody would want to hire me if I was pregnant. . . I received very different advice from different people, and I was ready to pull out.”
But Angeles didn’t step down and has enjoyed a range of growth opportunities across three different areas of the business – and having a third child along the way – she is now Ampol’s Head of e-Mobility.
We caught up with Angeles to find out more about her journey to the top and how Ampol is supporting working parents like her.
Q: You’ve been on quite a journey with Ampol! Can you share with us how it all started?
A: About seven years ago, I was working on a part-time basis. I already had one child and was discovering the fantastic experience of being a mother while also working. One day I received a call from a recruiter who introduced me to an exciting opportunity in a big company. It was Ampol. I was thrilled. I’d held a similar role before and felt super-confident that I could bring value to Ampol. I applied, but the application process took a little while and problem was. . . when I got the call that I was one of the two preferred candidates, I had just realized I was pregnant with my second child!
Q: How did you decide what to do next?
A: I received lots of differing advice from people and had almost decided to pull out because I kept thinking of all the negatives. But then I watched a TedTalk by Sheryl Sandberg and a sentence stuck in my mind: “Don’t leave before you leave.” Those were exactly the words I needed to hear, and I decided to still compete for the position. I wanted to know if I was the best candidate and to see if it could work. I was open with my hiring manager and said: look, this is my reality and if this works for you, it works for me. If it doesn’t, then that’s all good for me too.
Q: How did Ampol react when you told them your pregnancy news?
A: I was chosen for the role! The fear of starting a new position while pregnant was still there, but I transformed it into excitement. I joined a fantastic company, ran a successful project, and always felt supported.
Q: In what ways did Ampol support you into your new role while you were also caring for your new baby?
A: I’ve always felt fully supported. After I came back from parental leave, my role required me to travel quite a bit across the country. I’m originally from Chile and have lived in Australia for the past 12 years, but don’t have family nearby or a local support network. It was a logistical challenge at times, but I took my baby with me! I’d teach workshops and then return to the hotel where my six-month-old baby would be waiting with a babysitter organized through Ampol’s BabyCare program. My whole team loved seeing me traveling with Sofia, and I loved the fact that I could do both things, being a proud working parent.
Ampol actively promotes career progression through secondments, internships, training, mentoring, and more.
Find out about their impressive range of development programs, as well as other fantastic policies and benefits
Q: Are there any other benefits or policies that you feel have helped you as a working parent?
A: I am passionate about supporting parents during the challenging period of raising a child. It makes me proud to be in a company that has a competitive parental leave scheme for both parents – it means that you are really supporting the whole family.
Managers are also accommodating regarding how you return to work. I started with few days per week and increased over time to get to full-time, but many others have kept to part-time.
There are other benefits as part of the BabyCare program which have been helpful, too. Key highlights are financial support to help with the high cost of childcare until your child turns two, and emergency baby care for situations in which you need a nanny for few hours (especially helpful when you don’t have a support network like me).
Q: It sounds as though having a family hasn’t held you back in your career growth at Ampol at all! Would you agree?
A: I totally agree! In my experience, Ampol values your potential, and your potential exists whether you are in the office or at home looking after your little one.
When I was pregnant with my third child, I had the opportunity to take a secondment in another business unit. Again, I was nervous about another change in role while pregnant. Fortunately, I had a great conversation with my manager who shared all the reasons why he thought it was a good idea.
I moved to the future energy team two years ago and it has been so rewarding to see the progress we have made in a short period of time. I feel proud of our commitment to bringing new solutions to our customers and playing a key role in the decarbonization journey for Australia and beyond.
Q: What advice would you give other people who want to progress their career while raising a family?
I have learned that being absent for a period of time should not stop you taking opportunities. When there is something that excites you, you find ways to make it happen, and the energy to do it. And when there is creativity, energy, and passion, you achieve your best.
We have an opportunity to live our best life – and work is an important element of it.
Q: What does your future at Ampol look like?
A: I think the future looks bright and sustainable! I love working at an organization that is willing to take risks. I love to see that opportunities exist to keep learning and developing, but what I love most is the people. My team is like a “familia.” We care about each other, we give that extra mile, and come to work with a smile.
It is a privilege to work working with a great team of super-talented people on new solutions that will support a better future for our communities and planet.
If you are interested in working for a future-facing company that truly values families and working parents, start your journey with Ampol today!