Fuze Celebrates International Women’s Day 2019
For International Women’s Day in 2019 it’s important to recognize and honor both a century’s worth of progress towards a more gender-equal world, while also looking to the future and the work that remains to attain complete gender parity. This year, the theme of IWD is #BalanceforBetter, a call-to-action through which we’re all encouraged to make commitments to achieve greater gender balance across the globe.
At Fuze, empowering women within our industry is a company-wide value. In technology industry jobs, the turnover rate is more than twice as high for women than it is for men, and 56% of women in tech are leaving their employers mid-career. International Women’s Day is not only a chance to champion our female leaders, it’s also an opportunity to take pause and identify the ways in which we can be advocates for change and parity across our industries.
There is still so much work that has to be done to ensure there is gender equality in the workplace. To honor and celebrate #IWD19, we spoke with leaders of our female staff about what motivates them to work towards achieving more balance in their own lives and in the workplace.
Alexia Parsons, Manager, Customer Success and Account Management, EMEA
I recently spoke with a mentor to for advice on how I separate or balance my work and career and I was given a fresh perspective on how to approach how I look at this. Instead of thinking about "career woman Alexia" as being available 8-6 and "Outside work Alexia" as the rest of the time, they got me to consider that I am both career and outside of work Alexia 24/7/365 and I just need to allow myself time to complete my work and do what I want to do outside of work within this time. The tech industry lends itself well to this, and Fuze in particular, allowing me to work from anywhere and be flexible with how and when I work. So, in summary, I think the balance comes from not thinking of work as a set of hours but, creating the flexibility for yourself and finding ways to fit in work and personal life within your day.
Nadya Collins, Director, Worldwide Services Strategy & Operations
I grew up, like most women my age, with such an expanded number of opportunities and at the same time very aware of how hard the women in the generations before me worked to get us these opportunities. As much as that liberated me, in a way it also made me feel pressured. Pressured to be stronger, more ambitious, more successful; thinking that if you worked hard enough you could have everything. I suppose balance for me is being able to take a moment to stand still and reevaluate not just your opportunities but also your priorities, knowing that you can’t have everything all the time, and knowing that’s ok.
Jackie Groves, Regional Vice President, Sales
In the way that you develop your ecosystem at work, it's important to develop an ecosystem that you can also draw on for support in your personal life. Plan and schedule some home commitments in the way you would your work diary so you keep them. Be flexible. You will have quieter times at work. Take advantage of that but recognize there will be times when you have to commit more to work. Make sure you love your work.
Brittney Kelsey, Manager of Customer Engagement Programs
As someone who works from home full time, striving to find balance is key. Working in tech is very fast paced and there are times I find myself getting consumed in my work. Blocking out time for personal activities such as exercise, getting together with friends after work, or scheduling a weekend getaway to recharge has been very helpful.
Mary Good, Chief People Officer
With the nature of my role, I don’t think so much about work/life balance as I think about work/life integration and ensuring that all aspects of my life (physical, spiritual, family, financial, work, and community) all receive my attention. I also keep myself going by regularly focusing on purpose. I’ve learned that for me, scheduling all aspects of my life ensures that I focus on the other parts of my life just as much as my job. I also know the things I need to do to feed my soul, and I do those things regularly to maintain perspective. Knowing yourself and paying attention to your inner voice is super important…also outsourcing anything you don’t enjoy doing (to the extent you can afford it). That’s made a massive difference for me in terms of how I spend my free time on the weekends.
Lisa Walker, VP of Brand and Corporate Marketing
I think most working moms agree that day-to-day balance is a myth so I try to look balance on a week-to-week basis. A successful week of balance for me means that:
1) My team has accomplished something that impacts the business that week (in spite of the many fires that could have derailed us).
2) My two kids had a healthy, balanced week emotionally, intellectually, and physically (in spite of any number of daily disappointments that occurred).
3) My husband and I connected emotionally at least once that week (yes, I know, low bar) and remembered why we are married to each other outside of the kids.
4) I saw at least one friend in person (or at least had a real conversation with one).
5) And finally, and most importantly, that I did things for myself that week (ideally one a day) that recharged me to be my best self with all of those people above who rely on me.
Natalia Botti, Director, Channel Sales, Midwest
In regards to balance, I don't believe in it! For me, it's about whatever takes precedence that day, or in some cases, that hour. For me, knowing what to prioritize is the key. When I gave up the idea of balance, my life got a whole lot easier because I stopped setting myself up for failure. Instead, I focus on what matters most instead of what didn't get done.
Payal Cudia, Director, Worldwide Communications
I’ve worked most of my career trying to find balance. What I have learned is that there are waves of working around the clock and times when your personal life has high demands. Often times, you can be more productive on both fronts if you’re able to go in and out of work mode. The key to finding balance in my life is having the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime.
Lindsay Devin, Manager, FP&A
The key for me in managing work life balance is support from management and Fuze’s results orientated environment. Fuze’s dynamic, fast passed environment keeps work interesting and compelling and having flexibility to manage competing priorities enables me to balance my work and family.
Beth Cunningham-Skinner, Senior Director, HR, WW Business Partners
Working in HR and at tech company that’s moving at a rapid pace certainly provides hourly, daily, weekly challenges that test our ability to maintain balance. Work-life balance itself is an overwhelming phrase for me by itself. So I try to break it down to a simple term that resonates more for me--perspective. Every day on my drive home I reflect on whether it was a good day or bad day. I am ok if some days are bad because we will all have them. But I then focus on embracing the next day and how I can make it better. I try not to hold onto negativity for long and I'd rather move on quickly. I have a sign in my office that says, “first.. tell me something good”. I try to set positive mental tone up front for the people who come in so we both win. On top of all that, keeping a mental daily gratitude journal and painting when I can also help take my mind to a better place and offer perspective.