Monday, December 3, 2012

Work Life Balance Part 2

If you stopped by on Friday, you may have read part one of this post, featuring wisdom from author of Rich Before 30, Lesley Scorgie. If not, I'd recommend you go ahead and read it now! (with an exclamation point for emphasis)

If you did not, I'll catch you up, I recently attended Young Women of Influence's Evening Series on Work/Life Balance; featuring a panel of three highly successful, exquisitely balanced women. Today I bring you part 2 of this posting series, featuring the advice of Nancy Foster.

Nancy Foster, the senior VP of Human & Corporate Resources for Husky Energy

Although on the rise, women VPs are few and far between, and in the oil and gas industry they are fewer and farther. Despite this, Nancy has worked her way up in one of Canada's biggest energy corporations, all the while raising four kids into particularly high functioning adults (as one of her daughter's friends was eager to point out). If anyone knows a thing or two about succeeding in a male dominated field, Nancy is the lady I'd like to talk to!

When asked "Can you really have it all?"
"you have to make choices...there will always be times when it feels like you don't have it all...know what you want, and don't worry about what people tel you you should be doing."
What's the key to balance for her?
 She worked had to get to a place where she has flexibility at work, where results are higher valued then the number of hours worked. This is something I particularly like, and that I think is true in some aspects of academia.
Importantly, it's not about the quantity of time, rather the quality, and she applies this to both time spent at work and time spent at home with her family.

What did her children think of her being a working mother? Well they once gave her a performance appraisal. Negative feedback?
  1. Please stop wearing suits to our soccer games, the other moms don't.
  2. They don't like that she doesn't bake.
Nancy's response "So if that's all, then it's pretty good."

On the support of her husband: "vent on your husband, it keeps you from sending emails to people you shouldn't".

What's most important to her now that her kids are grown? Giving back, she is passionate about mentoring young people within her company. "We need a workforce that is inspired...that includes an untapped resource that is women."

And Nancy's final piece of advice?
You need to be happy with the choices that you make. Women are often still the primary caregiver, and can have the biggest influence on their children. If your kids see you as passionate and happy with your choices, then that in of itself is balance.
 So thanks to Nancy, and the people at Women of Influence for organizing this event. Once again you can read about Lesley Scorgie in Part 1 and you can expect to here about Melissa Gunning in Part 3 (still to come).

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