Working Mothers is a unique collaboration between the historian Helen McCarthy and photographer Leonora Saunders. Combining life interviews, formal portraiture and photo-diaries, Working Mothers captures the everyday worlds of five women living and working in east London in 2016. Each reflects on her personal journey to becoming a parent and the struggles and satisfactions of building a rich family life alongside meaningful paid work. The inspiration for Working Mothers stems from Helen McCarthy’s current project to write the history of working motherhood in Britain over the past century, and from Leonora Saunders’ long-established interest in using imagery to explore diversity and challenge gender stereotypes.

Many thanks to Philippa, Dextene, Michelle, Mylene and Annabel for sharing their stories, and to the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London for supporting the project.