Recently, I was on the panel at a business conference where I was reminded that the ’work-life’ balance dilemma means something quite different in reality to a family man running his own business and advancing his career to a woman in similar situation.
The panel was asked ‘how do you balance time with your family and the priorities of work and driving you business forward?’ My male co-expert, who runs a very successful financial services business, explained that he prioritised his family in terms of what time he returns home from work, ensuring weekends are family time and that he has chosen not to work away from home during the week. All the while he was speaking, I was thinking about the three hours a morning 3 days a week I have while my son is at nursery and the work I need to cram in. When I had the opportunity to answer, I could only state – what all the women in the room knew – that the majority of women still have the lion’s share of domestic responsibility and childcare. For women, it is all the more important to focus, prioritise, become an expert multi-tasker and not to sweat the small stuff – including the ironing! I also admitted for me it is hard work, but worth it for the choice I made for a flexible lifestyle and being my own boss. (more…)