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Women in business integrating work and life

20 March 2015

work-life balance

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer’s observation that work must recognise every employee’s individual need for a fulfilling life, got us thinking about what people do to manage the demands of work and life?

Here we have some tips from top business people, including three of our 100 Women of Influence winners from 2014.

Kathryn Selby, pianist

“I understand people value sport and we are a society driven by sport and by money and the accumulation of wealth – the need to have material things. My point is if we didn’t have self-expression, music, art, etc., there would be something lacking, the atmosphere would be different.

If you look at sci-fi, especially when it’s trying to get across the feeling of an empty society, there will usually be no music, no art, a complete lack of self-expression.”

Ann Sherry, CEO Carnival Australia

"The great myth: work life balance. I have a rich and full existence (involvement in not-for-profits, our farm, my family and home) and yes, lots of that existence is taken up by work, and I don't mind that. In this business [cruising], work and pleasure sometimes feel as though they blur."

Associate professor Dr Amanda Salis, Sydney University, Innovation winner 100 Women of Influence

“Surround yourself with smart, capable people. A team of diverse, smart people who work well together – this is what lets me sleep at night. As a mum and a researcher and someone who has to exercise, flexible working arrangements are really important. They support the integration of work and life.”

CEO Family Life Jo Cavanagh, Social Enterprise winner 100 Women of Influence 2014

“I have fantastic personal relationships. My family have been supportive as I’ve moved through my career - my husband in particular.

People have to work on their relationships, and you certainly can’t do the work in our sector [not-for-profit family and community work] if you are not emotionally strong yourself. You have to know yourself and understand the impact of your past on your present. You need to have nurturing, nourishing relationships to give back to you.”

CEO HESTA Super Fund Anne-Marie Corboy, Board Management winner 100 Women of influence 2014

“Effective teams in which the skill sets of people are diverse, and trust - they’re important for the day-to-day of work.

Everything in life involves choice and that involves trade-offs. Hopefully, those choices are informed choices. For many years, women didn’t even have choices – there wasn’t the option to think if I do that what will that mean?”

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