Work Life Balance


WorkLifeBalancePanelFountainBlue’s January 24 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of How to Throw More Balls Up Higher: Juggling Work-Life Balance in Demanding Times. Below are notes from the conversation. 

We were fortunate to have a range of seasoned executives with diverse experience in varying roles across organizations, functions and cultures, all as parents of young children, and all with high-impact roles within their organization. They experienced first-hand the work-life balance questions which riddle all of us with high-responsibility jobs in tech, whether we were new to the industry and role and company, or seasoned and experienced in many different roles, whether we are busy and childless or whether our child-rearing days are behind us or overwhelming us day-to-day.

  1. As a whole, our panel talked extensively about finding that inner peace, that inner direction which keeps them confident and grounded, and acting for that higher purpose, guiding them in their day-to-day choices, making conscious choices for things-that-matter to them. In addition, they knew how to feed themselves inwardly and outwardly, through hobbies, exercise, social time, meditation, etc., so that they can keep that centeredness and focus.
  2. They have the self-awareness to know what they want, to know what their strengths are, and the confidence to act on what they know to be true. Grounded in their knowledge and successes, they unapologetically ignore the inevitable naysayers and judgers and political-game-players who may make others question themselves and feel guilty.
  3. They were all good at what they did – putting in the long hours, delivering a track record of results, grooming and growing teams to make a difference. And they were good at setting boundaries so that they are not overtaken by their job, while also creating opportunities for those-on-their-team to also shine.
  4. When new roles and opportunities arose, they were plan-ful and strategic about whether it’s work they want to do, what they needed to do the job well, whether it’s something they are qualified to do, and
  5. Each role and project adopted by our panelists was embraced with enthusiasm and gusto, with the focus on engaging the team and delivering results.
  6. It’s not that things always go their way, but they are plan-ful about what they want and how to go about getting it, while focusing on the life part that’s so much more important. When the emphasis shifts back to work, then they focus on re-working the plan so that it works for all.
  7. They were all adept at setting boundaries and expectations about the times that they work, the kind of work they want to do, and overall how much they are willing to do on the job, for the job.
  8. They encouraged us all take a chance and not to be too complacent and comfortable where we are – to stretch ourselves to become all we can be, not later when life settles down, but now, when you have a chance.
  9. Cherish your relationship and your time with your kids, particularly when they are young. Your work can wait, people at work can go on without you, but if you’re not there for your kids, if you overpromise and don’t do what you say, it would impact your relationship with them.

10. They are experienced, connected and savvy enough to access networks and resources and support groups to help make things go smoothly at work and at home, delegating wherever possible, focusing on actions and areas where they need-to-be, always making the people-most-important-to-them feel that they are exactly that.

The bottom line is that they knew that work keeps changing – it will always be there, it is more flexible, like a rubber ball, and life – the people like family and friends and the things that matter more to you are more fragile, and need to be nurtured more, particularly in times of need.


Please join us in thanking our speakers for taking the time to share their advice and thoughts at FountainBlue’s January 24 When She Speaks, Women in Leadership Series event, on the topic of How to Throw More Balls Up Higher: Juggling Work-Life Balance in Demanding Times:

Facilitator Nancy Monson, Nancy Monson Coaching

Panelist Monica Bajaj, Senior Engineering Manager, NetApp

Panelist Brenda Beiter, Supply Chain Operations Manager, Google

Panelist Heather Gordon Friedland, Senior Director Product Management @ eBay – Search & Discover Team

Panelist Jennifer Petty, Director, Operations, Cisco

Thank you also to our gracious hosts at NetApp.

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