Recently Steve Forbes sat down with Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld, the second most powerful woman in America according to the most recent CNN list. One of the topics they discussed? Parenthood. “You had children,” Forbes begins. “How do you balance that?”
I expected her to throw out four or five inter-mangled corporate clichés thereby giving a politically correct if not ambiguously acceptable answer. You know, something along the lines of “Well, Steve, you gotta hit the ground running and really think outside the box on that one. Simply put, on-boarding exists at the home level, too, and the true heavy hitters know how to engage in ideation in order to synergize and thus attain familial optimization.” But instead, she came direct.
She described work-life balance as “misnomer,” pointing out that every day cannot be perfect. But she did dole out some advice. “Figure out what’s important to you and make sure that you take advantage of that…within the context of your business responsibilities.” And to whom is she speaking, you might wonder?
The moms, naturally, but also to the dads, as she’s very careful to point out. “Increasingly, we’re finding that the young men in the company are much more active fathers than, perhaps, the generation that preceded them.”
So what do you think? Is Rosenfeld right? Is the concept of work-life balance for parents a bit of a misnomer? I contend that perhaps it is within corporate America. But it’s my opinion that those of us who aren’t wearing pinstripes and taking the elevator up to the 53rd floor can usually find a pretty good mix. What do you think?
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