LDC Top 50 2022
When Emma O’Brien was made redundant in 2009, she decided to start her own business. “I had two young children and didn’t want to go back to a full-time role,” she says. “I couldn’t find a part-time senior position in the corporate world, so I launched my own digital transformation consultancy in a quest for work-life balance.”
With clients ranging from Surrey County Council to St James’s Place, Embridge Consulting now has 75 staff and 40 subcontractors. Alongside this, O’Brien has maintained the balance she set out to achieve: “I have never missed a school play, sports day or parents’ evening yet,” she says.
I want us to be able to be proud of the contribution that we’re making, not just in terms of the impact we have on our clients but the impact we have on our people, and society.”
How do you manage work-life balance?
I started my own company because I wanted to be able to spend time with my children but couldn’t find a part-time, senior-level job. Every entrepreneur knows that you don’t work nine-to-five: you live and breathe your business every day of the week. But I’m absolutely focused with my time. I have three kids now and have never missed a school play, sports day or parents’ evening.
I want Embridge to be a business with purpose. I want us to be able to be proud of the contribution that we’re making, not just in terms of the impact we have on our clients but the impact we have on our people, and society. We want to really contribute and give something back.
How have you built an inclusive culture?
We’ve very flexible. If someone wants to work term-time only or spend three months a year in France, we’ll try and make that happen. We give staff two free days off a year to volunteer in the local community or work with a charity. We’re a Disability Confident Employer. My youngest son has drug-resistant epilepsy so that’s really important to me.