Successful career women are almost always — perhaps even literally always — asked in interviews how they deal with the infamous "the work/life balance." Women who haven't married or had children are quizzed on why they haven't — can their withering wombs be chalked up to a heavy workload? — and women who do achieve the mythical "balance" are forced to describe, over and over again, how they've possibly managed such a feat. Men, on the other hand, are rarely asked how they balance family time with work. Perhaps that's why a recent study found that female CFOs are paid about 16% less than their male counterparts — male higher-ups assume that ladies won't want the extra hours once they start popping out babies.
So kudos to Amanda Steinberg, founder and CEO of DailyWorth, a successful online finance community for women, who told The Grindstone that being a mom is "challenging," yes, but that doesn't mean she's striving to balance the supposed scales. When asked about work/life balance, she said:
I don't strive for a concept of balance — I never have. It almost seems like a silly idea to me — that life should play out in some sort of contrived separation between "work" and "relaxation" or "family time." As a CEO and mom, I'm always working and always "mom." They exist in an almost blended fashion. I lean in both directions depending on which needs me more in that moment.
The entire interview is worth a read — Steinberg advises young women to learn how to code so they can be "as self-sufficient as possible" and says she considers her gender "secondary" in terms of what she's accomplished in her career — but we're particularly pleased she tackled the impossible and unnecessarily stressful concept of balance that women are too often expected to achieve.
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