Male CEOs are always asked similar questions about their personal life. They get asked if they play golf, how they find time to work out, and what their favorite wine is, and so on. Never do they get asked how they manage to be a father and husband as well. Interestingly, they do get asked about their relationship with their own parents, but never about what it’s like to be a parent themselves.
The difference between men and women continues to be obvious as well. If a woman lands a high profile position, such as Charles Phillips Infor CEO’s wife Karen Phillips, who sits on numerous boards and heads the Phillips Charitable Organizations, then they must have a PR ready text ready about what their work life balance is like. They are constantly asked about how they manage to be a mother and a busy person at the same time.
- Mary Barra, from GM, was asked how she could possibly be seen as an accountable CEO while being a mother at the same time.
- Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s CEO, was asked whether it is even possible for a woman to have it all.
- Hillary Clinton was asked whether it would be possible for her to be President as well as grandmother.
- Marissa Mayer was asked whether she could be a CEO and be pregnant as well.
Working mothers often find themselves stigmatized in the workplace in a way that is inconceivable for working fathers. This is strange since both genders face challenges of balancing work and home. This is why, in a recent interview, male executives were asked how they manage it. They came up with the following tips.
CEO’s on Being a Dad
The following tips were provided by male CEOs on how to be an executive and a father at the same time:
- Lean in as much as possible at home. For some, that means one day a week off, for others it means being committed to attending every dance recital, for example.
- Accepting that regrets are real, but in the past, and that the future is yet to be made. The majority of male CEOs regret having to miss out on important milestones. While those moments cannot be returned, it is possible to be there for future milestones.
- Leading by example. If a CEO demonstrates to his staff that he wants to spend time with his family, he sends a clear message to his staff that family is important. This means that, if there is something that they want to attend, they will feel less guilty about asking for that time. It is about setting an example for the next generation.
The world is changing and men are becoming emancipated. It is ok now for dads to admit that they want to spend time with their children. It is equally ok for women to take on positions of leadership without feeling guilty about leaving the family at home. A revolution is upon us!