On Monday, February 18, it was Family Day here in Ontario, a holiday that is designed to give families an extra day of the year to spend together, so this was an opportune day to write about the theme of #BalanceforBetter.
We spent the weekend and Monday at a friend’s house in the countryside, where we went ice fishing, ice skating, enjoyed a long hike in the woods and ended the holiday toasting marshmallows on a huge bonfire. I thought about the fun we had, and how great it was to have an extra day to spend together. It reminded me just how important work/life balance is.
I thought back to when my son was small. I had a demanding career and I juggled everything in order for him to be my priority, and for me to deliver the results that my professional life also demanded. Despite missing the pick up at the bus stop several times and feeling the guilt that only a mother can, and despite the fact that he sat through many conference calls on vacations and did the occasional weekend at the office, he did survive. I was also very fortunate to have a boss all those years ago who was a father to three young daughters and was supportive of flexible work days when required. This was so important to me. I often look back and think he was a pioneer, ahead of his time. However, I think he probably just recognized that when a person is happy at home and has the balance that is required, they are more productive professionally.
Today, I aim to be a role model and leader for other women, both in my personal and professional life. I also aim for balance. I get up early to exercise before going to the office, and try to be a better, more balanced person in order to be more effective with my clients, colleagues and family. I try to create an environment of balance where all people feel supported.
I believe the theme of balance is a gender-neutral topic. I think everyone struggles for balance, especially these days where increasingly both men and women can play a more equal role in raising a family. Capco Toronto provides both maternity and paternity leave and benefits, and I feel proud to be part of an organization that takes balance seriously. I am glad that I work for an organization that enables men and women to take the time off to support their partner/spouse in the early days following the birth of their child, while not feeling like they have missed out on a career opportunity or advancement is so important. It is this type of thinking that we need more of in society to truly make a difference.