Work Life Balance It Is True Th

Work Life Balance It Is True Th

Work Life Balance

It is true that the family factor is still key, and that women think carefully about maintaining a balance between their personal and professional lives. The sheer amount of time and energy the top board jobs require allows very little flexibility and those women with young families would invariably choose not to compromise the needs of their children.

There is plenty of discussion about how women are less prepared to devote themselves completely to work at the expense of personal lives. One manager observes: 'Women managers I admire have multi-faceted lives - which means that they are not focused solely on their work, although it has a central role in their lives. Men's lives, on the other hand, can more easily and traditionally be set up so that all aspects - family, recreation, social activities - reinforce a man's role in business'. Where an organization's culture demands long hours of the people at the top and there are the attendant stresses and strains to contend with, many women are not prepared to put up with that alongside their other responsibilities as home-maker.

Also bearing weight in this argument is the view that very few women begin their careers with the top in mind and, in any case, they are generally more concerned with achievement rather than power and do not strive so aggressively for promotion for the sake of it and what it entails.

It is for this reason, one manager suggests, that women are increasingly moving away from working in large organizations to becoming consultants or setting up their own small businesses. She believes that it would be 'worthwhile examining the small business/consultancy world to see how many successful women have foregone institutional life in favor of greater flexibility and personal control'.

Opportunity 2016 is convinced that many women are frustrated by a business world still dominated by men and that is why they are leaving to set up their own businesses. This is confirmed by the various small-business divisions in high-street banks who have reported a noticeable increase in the numbers of women starting up on their own.

Sadly, many men are still bound up in the traditional view that women should be in a supporting role - especially when they have had enormous backing from their wives. As one woman says, 'Being a single parent, I can understand why they might want someone supporting them in the background. It would make my life a whole lot easier'.

An interesting point comes from a manager who suggests that women aren't pushing down the doors to boardrooms because it is not clear what being a director means and what makes a successful director. And it is certainly true that we are in the midst of a huge rethink about the way organizations are run and the whole subject of corporate governance is under review. The Institute of Directors, amongst others, is devoting a great deal of time and energy to this subject with the aim that board members may become better able to understand and fulfill their roles as direction givers.


Call +44 (0)7516 391 430 for more information on joining our network


ligaturemagazine.co.uk looks at the role women play in business in 2016 and by focusing on the past seeks to improve the prospects for all UK women in the work force. We offer women a chance to join a non profit making group of similar women to give advice and career support.