My wife Janis, who also happens to be Eagle’s President and one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women (among other honors) gets asked about this ALL the time! It seems to be especially prevalent at gatherings of women business people … and it drives her nuts!
The first question she will get from the floor at these events is inevitably around the issue of raising a family, having a high powered job, getting a higher education and balancing it all. Of course, unlike me, she is very calm as she explains what to most people is patently obvious … there are no silver bullets!
Some thoughts …
– Success is EARNED, whether you are male or female.
– There is an impact on your career when you leave a job to have children, or take time out for some other pursuit.
– If the expectations of your employer are not met because of your non-work commitments then there will be an impact on your career.
– Most organizations want good people and will be as flexible as they can to accommodate their needs, but they are businesses that have to be competitive in a very competitive world … that is just reality.
– You make your own choices about how much time to devote to family at the “expense” of your job. It should be a conscious choice and reflect what you want from life.
– In today’s business world, if you are good at what you do, and put in the required effort you will likely be rewarded.
– There are still “old guard” people, companies and industries … but their days are numbered.
Janis managed to get an MBA while working full time. We have two children, either of whom anybody would be proud to know and we have a great relationship with both. We both committed to our careers, to our family and to making it work. It meant we both sacrificed at times, and I think that is the key … both partners in a relationship need to be willing to help each other get where they each need to be. However … we are all different, and each needs to find their own definition of balance!
My friend Colleen Francis has a regular blog and recently wrote about her “Beef with Balance”. Colleen is another powerful and successful business woman, and like most I know does not dwell on the fact that she is a woman … she just happens to be good at what she does and works hard to be a success!