Posted by: mattbush5895 | March 21, 2019

Women Leaders: Striking the Balance Between Work & Life

Finding a balance between work and life is a very hard task, even for men. Women have it doubly hard however as society has put perceptions on women that they need to be the caregivers and should always put their family/life ahead of their work. In an article written by Ashley Young of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, four tips are pointed out for women striving for that work-life balance. These tips coincide with the readings we have done in class on work life balance and are as follows:

  1. Allow for shifting priorities: know that sometimes it will be a busy week at work but the the next week the focus can be on something else
  2. Don’t sell yourself short: be confident in your abilities in you profession
  3. Take risks: being successful is difficult, without allowing for risk taking, the success that is achieved will be much less
  4. Develop a thick skin: people judge everything we do and we will never be able to make everyone happy, figure out what you want and don’t let people dissuade you from your goals

These points bring in many aspects of our course but I would like to discuss the aspect of shifting priorities. This point makes me think of the statement, women can have it all but just not at the same time. Do you think this is true? If so, how can women overcome this hurdle and why has society made it impossible for women to have it all at the same time?

I believe that women can have it all at the same time due to how I define this statement. For me, when discussing this point, time is very variable. One week does not define a career or a relationship with your children. There will be give and takes throughout your whole life but as long as those give and takes balance out I believe that this means you had it all at one time. Nobody can get through life without making sacrifices but it is the amount of sacrifice that determines whether or not you achieved a good balance or that you “had it all.”


  1. I really liked the article you included and think the tips that were listed are important for women to consider when trying to balance work life and home life responsibilities. In my recent interview with my grandmother who is a female leader in a masculine context, I asked her if she ever had struggles with the work/home life balance and whether or not women could have it all. Considering the time period when she was leading, all of her daughters were old enough to not have to rely on being watched all day because they were in school and the oldest could drive. She would not have considered leading when her kids were in diapers because she would not have been able to “have it all”. I think that women define “having it all” differently and there are different variables that play into that. Women can “have it all” but not at the same time, so yes I think that is true. If more women become aware of how they are balancing both work and home, accepting a busy week then focusing on something else the next, will be easier. I also agree that it is all about give and take to find the right balance, and everyone will go through having to sacrifice some aspect of their life to achieve that balance.

  2. I enjoyed reading this article, and I agree with the author that this concept is very complex. I agree with Sydney and think that every woman’s definition of “having it all” is different depending on her experiences, family and location. One’s woman definition may be entirely different from another woman in the same context. Therefore, I think it is true that women can “have it all” but just not at the same time; however, I think this term shouldn’t be used. Because every person’s idea of it may be different, I don’t think it should be referred to with this term. I think society has made it impossible for women to have it all at the same time because there is an unrealistically high expectation that women can master several important roles all at once when this really isn’t possible. Society portrays women as superheroes who can have kids while working full time while being a great wife and friend. This simply cannot happen, and women who portray themselves in this way are leaving out many details of their lives in order to make themselves look good.

  3. This is a struggle that I think no matter how much it is discussed, it will always be an obstacle everyone has to face. Life is so busy that people just cannot necessarily do everything that they want. I think strategies are important because although this is a struggle, there are ways to make it better. My favorite point was the “don’t sell yourself short”. In class we have learned that often times women sell themselves short and do not feel qualified for so many different things. When trying to balance a job and home life it is important to remind yourself that you are attempting an almost impossible obstacle. People do not give themselves enough credit for all the hard work that they do at home and at work. Life is so much more than being stressed and I think it is important for people to take a step back and appreciate themselves for all the hard work that they do.

  4. I really liked reading this article, and I agree with everyone above: the issue of “having it all” is really complicated and subjective, as everyone wants something different out of life. I think that, knowing what we know about how women tend to underestimate themselves, that’s the first hurdle on the path to “having it all”. I also think that, if more women knew their worth and their capabilities, that “having it all” wouldn’t be such an elusive concept or achievement. For example, my mom could be an example of someone who “has it all”–she balances her marriage, caring for my disabled brother, raising two other children, and going back to school all at the same time. It’s difficult (I sometimes don’t know HOW she does it all and manages to have it all), but I think another important part of it is being willing to accept help and admit that you can’t be everywhere at once and do everything at once. However, if you know what you want to accomplish, can set your goals, and can accept help when offered or needed, I think it can be possible to have everything that you want in life.

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