“I realised that the two weren’t going to mix and I had to think about an alternative that gave me more flexibility but still the ability to develop myself,” she says.
Fifteen months ago, after high-level roles at Microsoft and KLM, Jaffe launched her own digital marketing business. “Things are going extremely well,” she says. “It’s better than I could have dreamed. I feel like I’m finally realising my potential.”
Jaffe has worked on 26 projects since launching the business and says she’s doubled her salary since starting out. This February, she’s due to give birth to her first child.
Jaffe admits the dearth of female role models in business – women had a career and a family – was alarming. She says: “I’d find them and invariably they’d go off on maternity leave. I didn’t see any women at the top who were balancing work and home life.”
Jaffe argues that the desire to have children is a factor in the widening gender pay gap in the UK. A study by executive jobs website Experteer reveals that male executives earn 19 per cent more than female executives in five key industries – consulting, IT, finance, the public sector and retail.
“Women are less willing to sacrifice the number of hours that are required by the corporate world,” Jaffe says. “It’s also still a very masculine environment. Somehow, the gravitas that a man brings into a room carries more weight. It could be connected to factors such as communication skills and assertiveness; I think men tend to have greater confidence especially when it comes to asking for promotion or recognition for what they’re doing.”