Twenty years ago when I began my career, women entering the business world held a very different perspective about how to remain successfully at the companies in which they worked. I still remember when I was pregnant with my first son, a male colleague commented out loud that he wondered whether I was pregnant or had simply stopped working out.
I have been speaking to a lot of diversity and inclusion professionals lately. After we share what we do and the myriad successes, the conversation always turns to the obstacles we face – the push-back, the hurdles and the misconceptions we have to overcome in our dogged determination to effectuate change in the business world.
I remember when I was thinking about starting a family. I was a second year associate at what was, at the time, considered a large law firm and I was trying to determine how I was going to make it all work. How was I going to continue my demanding career and raise a family? I wracked my brain, thinking of every possibility, as all good Type A attorneys do, and then finally gave up.
The phrase work-life balance, once reserved for working mothers coming back from maternity leave and the catch-all for flex-time, part-time, less time – also reserved for women, has now been replaced by the ubiquitous “work-life integration.” This newer concept, the replacement for work-life balance, touts a concept where work and life are intertwined, blended into one seamless fabric, where technology is the key to making it all work.