Work-life balance

JoAnne Brandes is an independent management consultant and founder of Carroll University Center for Leadership Excellence. She is the former executive vice president, general counsel and secretary at JohnsonDiversey Inc. She recently spoke at the BizTech Conference & Expo about her struggle for work-life balance.

“The greatest struggle in my life the last 30 years has been balancing my work life and family life, striving to fulfill at the highest level my roles as employee, employer, leader, attorney, community contributor, mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. What helped me most was to define my priority that the needs of the family come first, and that I would not deprive myself of the richness that comes from living a close family life.

“Understanding this priority has given my family security rather than competition. It has allowed them to feel like partners in my work life, with a sense of pride about what I do in my business life, and the wonderful people I work with and about how my work contributes to the betterment of their lives and society.

“Secondly, I turned my frustrations about the work-family balance struggle into positive actions for change, doing whatever I could to make this balance easier for my employees, including providing on-site child care, family-friendly policies and mentoring.

“Accommodating work-life balance in the workplace creates a culture where employees feel valued and respected. Feeling valued and respected creates the employee trust necessary to drive sustainable success for any organization.”

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