| 16.8°C Dublin

I know what you're going through, Colette, says supermum Miriam

IF TV3's Colette Fitzpatrick is looking for help on juggling motherhood and career, she should take a few tips from RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan.

Mum-of-eight Miriam has revealed how she had to work "oodles harder" than her male counterparts to stay ahead in the industry.

And the Prime Time star agrees 100pc with comments made by Herald columnist Colette Fitzpatrick about career and family.

The TV3 anchor recently stated how she was concerned for her job security while she was off on maternity leave having her first baby, describing TV as a "cut-throat industry".

"I found it really interesting what Colette said," said Miriam. "It made me remember myself when I had my twins in 1993. I had just joined RTE and I had taken a job not knowing I was pregnant. I remember sitting in Holles Street in my bed watching TV, I was doing a show called Market Place at the time, and seeing Pat Kenny in my seat with my two twins beside me.

"The babies must have been about 10 seconds old at the time and I remember thinking, I have to get out of this bed and back into that seat!

"Pat had his own show at the time, he was only filling in as a favour, but I remember waking up from my morphine blur after having my C-section and having that feeling while watching it."





Burden

Despite being mum to eight children, named Alannah, Clara, twins Jessica and Georgia, Jack, Daniel, Conor and Jamie, she has still become one of the best-known presenters in Ireland.

Yet she reckons that women will always be biologically disadvantaged when it comes to their careers as the burden of childcare will always fall mainly on them. "My job was there when I was went back but I always went back very quickly. I had just started so we were under financial pressure. I think I went back about four weeks after the twins were born," she continued.

"The whole thing about being a woman in broadcasting is that it is a fickle career, if you're female it's a much less secure industry than other areas.

"You have to fight your corner much more intensely. It's oodles and oodles harder for women."

However, she believes a lot of what happens to women and their careers after becoming a mum is dependent on their employers -- and Colette needn't worry in the long term.

"It is an insecure business, but I think she'll be fine. Of all the people who need to worry, Colette is not one of them. She runs that place."

mfinn@herald.ie