Here are some of their responses:
Like any working parent, I know how hard it can be to balance work and family. In our office people tend to need to be there during the day since almost all of the work involves face-to-face constituent meetings and hearings, but when stuff happens on weekends or evenings or if a family issue comes up during a workday, people often work or research issues at home. The key is making the job a place where people want to be but also not being too rigid when life and work go head to head!
Senior United States Senator from Minnesota
Flexibility is the central need for today’s working mothers and fathers. I know from experience that this is especially true in the fast paced environment of a consulting firm. Most times, it’s preferable for people to work on-site. Client emergencies, strategy sessions and project management necessitate close interaction among teams. There are moments when no conference call, Skype discussion or email exchange can replace the power of individuals working side-by-side.
But, it’s always been very important to me that our staff build their careers while they are satisfying commitments to families and friends. So, I’ve found it essential to provide working mothers — and fathers — with guilt-free flexibility.
As I moved up through the ranks, I started out single, got married, adopted an hour commute, had one child and then another. My life and job demands increased significantly over the years and my need for flexibility surfaced in different ways. At each step, my firm allowed me to be true to my family at the same time I advanced in my responsibilities. I know I can’t “be there” for everything in my children’s lives but I know that I will never be asked to miss the many moments that really matter.
— Martha Boudreau
President Mid-Atlantic & Latin America
Fleishman-Hillard International Communications
With the caveat that I have not read Mayer’s memo and only reviews of Sandberg’s book, my initial reaction is sympathy with the view that if women wish to succeed in the workplace, they should “lean in” to its challenges.
I do not minimize how difficult this can be especially if, like most of us, a woman has fewer financial resources than Mayer or Sandberg. But I do not think it is unreasonable for an employer to expect a woman to work as hard, and as well as a man. I expect both the women and the men who work as my law clerks to work hard and, if necessary, late and on weekends, as I do.