Women in executive positions face a variety of challenges. The most common complaints expressed by women include a lack of respect from peers, questioning of one’s abilities, and gender biases. Susie Orman Schnall spent years exploring these challenges, finding that one of the most prominent issues among working women is finding work-life balance. She then set out to interview 80 women over the course of a year, in order to understand how other successful women achieve their balancing act.
Through her interviews and research, Schnall found that the number one thing that working women tend to give up is taking care of themselves. In the quest to achieve excellence in their work environment and home relationships, women neglect their own needs. As she explains, “it’s the easiest thing to give up since no one is complaining about it”.
When we find ourselves in a position where so much is demanded of us, it is easy to let our own needs fall to the bottom of our to-do list – exercising, eating right, getting enough rest, making time for medical appointments and more. However, if we do not give ourselves the time to fulfill our own needs, we will eventually become exhausted and burnt out. When balancing so many different responsibilities, it is imperative that we schedule time for ourselves, and make ourselves a priority.
Work-life balance is only one of the many struggles that executive women face. While each woman may have a different way of coping with these issues, there is one thing they all have in common: they can all benefit from talking to others about their challenges and concerns. What makes a human being less upset about challenges and perceived obstacles is knowing that others share similar concerns and experiences. Simply expressing your concerns out loud to trusted peers can alleviate the pressure felt and receiving honest, unbiased feedback helps to resolve issues that may have seemed insurmountable.
Executive and peer coaching can have a transformational effect on a woman’s career and personal success. Key Associates, Inc. offers both individual executive coaching and peer forums to help female executives strengthen their leadership and management skills and find work-life balance.