Saturday, September 22, 2007

More on work-life balance ...

I forgot I had changed the comment settings so that I didn't have to approve them first. Was fun to see a couple comments on my last post and made me want to write a few additional thoughts.

First, I do feel hopeful about finding a work-life balance, I just don't think it will come easily. It limits the number of positions/employers that will be right for me and will require that I be very careful selecting employment and setting my boundaries. This past week we had a day-long career immersion at the GSB and I attended the IM and PE/VC panels/presentations. I think that there are other industries that would be more conducive to motherhood but I don't find any of them as appealing as IM. I do agree that IM is much more favorable to family life than ibanking but there are still some tough hours there, depending on firm culture and your exact position. I spoke to several presenters afterwards about the family issue and got some encouraging words. The professor who gave the PE/VC presentation did not make me feel very hopeful, however. But in the final presentation of the day (for me) which had ibanking, sales and trading, and PE represented, I was so happy to hear work/life balance come up, and not just from the lone woman (S&T) on the panel, but also from the fellow in PE who said family life was a huge criteria for him in his job search (his wife is a doctor). He now has a 2 year old and is very much part of his life. It was so nice to hear a man discuss this concern. I get tired of the idea that this is just a 'woman's issue'.

Second, I am very excited about this Mothers in Business group at the GSB and am very impressed with the way that the school is responding to this issue. They are busy preparing a dedicated room for breastfeeding students to pump and store milk and Dean Kole (who has 3 kids herself) has been very supportive. We made the decision to make our group women-only but I am curious to what extent student fathers might need some support of their own ... we are going to discuss with CWIB about whether we can be a sub-group with them or should be on our own.

Third, if you are a MBA student, prospective or alum and the family life and work issue is of concern to you, you are not alone and you are not powerless! Women, talk to your school's women in business group about starting a Mothers in Business group. Men, think about how you might connect to one another. Then, let's all join forces and change the world!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your optimism! I am an MBA hopeful with a 11 month old, and have been using your blog and others like it to see if this path will be family friendly.

Maren said...

Agreed with the last comment. These work-life balance posts give a great first-hand view for prospective MBAs with a family. Thanks for the post. I've added it to my Top 5 MBA posts of the week (well, a few weeks ago now)