But all the same, her words echoed those of the others who spoke to me, and continue to give me hope that, generation by generation, women – and men – are chipping away at the culture that says parenting and career can’t mix. “I look back on those ten years [of jobsharing] and for me, they probably were golden years because I genuinely felt that I had the worklife balance that I needed at that time in my life.”
The right to request offered choice and opportunities that were not available to most women, or men, before 2003. It also brought with it real career risks, and almost certainly still does, whenever flexible working involves reduced hours. But Hannah, Rhonda, Ruth and Suzie: each in her own way is a work-life Edith Piaf, confidently confirming, “Je ne regrette rien”.