Working Towards Having It All Doesn’t Mean Having It All at Once: My Thoughts on International Women’s Day

I am a woman CEO of a successful company. I am also a dedicated and loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Perhaps I may be viewed by some people as a poster child for International Women’s Day because I am a woman who appears to “have it all.” But I do not represent most women in the world right now. Today, there are a mere 41 women running Fortune 500 companies and only four are black women. And for women in leadership roles, raising children and active in their communities like myself, the real world is a balancing act, with many on the brink of, or right in the throes of, burnout. But I do see a bright future ahead and I have some ideas on how to get there.

Have we made progress?

I was born in 1973 and am a proud member of Generation X. Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, the working moms I knew fell into two camps; accomplished career-oriented moms who could outsource house and childcare duties, and women who worked part-time around the school calendar. Looking at how my generation has fared by comparison, I am confident my peers have more professional opportunities than our mothers and grandmothers. So yes, we have made progress! But it comes with a heavy price and we have far more to strive for.

Have those opportunities transitioned to better lives?

While women have made great strides, the data shows many of us are suffering from the side effects of growing up hearing we can have and do it all. Women are working longer, harder and with more demands than ever before. Spending more time working at home has contributed to doing significant work duties outside of normal hours and being saddled with a disproportionate amount of household responsibilities, childcare and caregiving for parents.

Not surprisingly, this trifecta of work is resulting in burnout. A McKinsey survey found that while more than one-third of men report burnout, the burnout rate for women is now higher than 40 percent. And burnout is slamming senior-level women the hardest, with 50 percent saying they are burned out at work.

In reference to women in Gen X’s burnout, Elizabeth Grace Matthew wrote in American Magazine, that it “isn’t about (women’s) failure to achieve, but about their predecessors’ failure to count. Having it all in one day doesn’t work if a day remains 24 hours and ‘it all’ takes 36.” Wow, doesn’t that sound/feel familiar?! When I turn to my friends to reflect on this data and observations, it is validated.

How can we #BreaktheBias?

We need to do less. Ada Calhoun’s 2020 book, “Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis” illustrates the unique situation women of my generation in particular finds itself in. We are capable, we have broken the glass ceiling, we are educated. And yet, we are still struggling to find a way to be fulfilled professionally and fulfill our commitments to our families and communities.

We have an obligation to our daughters to encourage realistic expectations, help them curate and prioritize their passions, and encourage them to understand that having it all doesn’t demand having it all at once. We must mentor, coach, and counsel younger female co-workers. I believe we cannot merely offer more opportunity; we must intentionally create space for women to thrive in the workplace and encourage innovation. Supporting flexible work schedules and remote offices (thank you Covid) has gotten easier, but parents still need support for childcare. Leadership should be accessible for everyone, regardless of gender or life stage.

How to Create an Effective Hiring Plan for Leadership Talent

In the business world, it’s no secret that the success or failure of any company largely depends on its leadership. Finding the right leaders who can steer your organization toward growth and prosperity can be daunting. But with a well-planned and strategic hiring process, you can increase your chances of attracting and identifying the best leadership talent.

Unlock the Secrets of Employee Retention with ‘Why Do You Stay?©’

‘Why Do You Stay?©’, powered by Orxestra, is a unique, research-based assessment tool designed to uncover the driving forces behind your teams’ decision to stay with your organization. This approach goes beyond merely asking employees why they stick around, instead using an appreciative inquiry-based methodology to facilitate…

Top Tips for Finding a Strategic Leader in Sustainable Business Practices

The search for a strategic leader in sustainable business practices demands a keen eye for skills beyond ordinary leadership. These individuals should combine strategic thinking, exemplary…

Harnessing Data Analysis to Find Leadership Talents in Energy, Mining, and Utilities

In the dynamic energy, mining, and utilities sectors, the right leadership can be the difference between success and stagnation. With the rise of technology and the increasing importance of data, organizations are now equipped with tools that can help them identify and nurture leadership talents more effectively than ever before. Data analysis…

How Can I Ensure My Team Is Incentivized and Rewarded for Their Efforts When Developing Cleantech and Renewable Energy Solutions?

In the transformative world of cleantech and renewable energy, the motivation and dedication of a team can make all the difference. Ensuring your team feels valued and adequately rewarded is not just about financial incentives…

Developing Comprehensive Onboarding Plans For New Hires

Every organization wants to have competent and productive employees. However, ensuring an efficient onboarding process is the key to developing an efficient and result-driven workforce. A well-crafted onboarding strategy can help newly hired top-level executives understand their roles and…

Winning Over Existing Staff Members as a New Leader

Becoming a new leader in any company comes with a diverse range of responsibilities, including winning over the existing staff members. Undoubtedly, change is inevitable when a new leader takes over, and it often…

Articulating Compelling Missions, Visions, and Values To Attract Ideal Talent

One of the most critical challenges businesses face today is attracting top talent. With the war for talent raging on, companies must have a compelling reason for prospective employees to choose them over their competitors. Companies’ value proposition to potential employees has become more critical than ever. For this reason, businesses need to…

Overcoming Challenges In The Search For Top Talent at Your Life Science Firm

Recruiting top talent in the life science industry is daunting, especially when the demand for skilled professionals outweighs supply. As a hiring manager or HR representative, you constantly face the challenge of attracting highly qualified…

Getting Started with Onboarding: Preparing For Successful Integration and Retention Of Your New Team Members

As a business leader, you know that hiring a new employee is time-consuming and expensive. That’s why it’s crucial to have an effective onboarding program in place that can help integrate new hires quickly and seamlessly into your company culture.