When it’s Big, Someone has to Give

By Andrea Culligan, an EO Sydney member and managing director/CEO of Harteffect

Being in a medium size business, I get caught up in the day-to-day and find sometimes that my business is running me, not the other way around. These weeks are hard emotional and highly stressful. I push everything aside in my life to focus on these times just to get the job done.

I don’t mind these times though– truly, I don’t. I find them cathartic at the end as they always push me to a new level of awareness of my strengths, weaknesses and new skills. They challenge me and I embrace it.

However, they don’t come without sacrifices, and without a solid support system there is no chance I would be able to achieve what I do day-to-day.

Over the past six months, I’ve spent a lot of time asking my friends gender related questions as the quota for women on boards heats up and women equality in the workplace is the key topic. I ask the question: Is it women in the workplace we should be talking about , or is it really about the bigger picture of – When it’s big …someone has to give?

I started with my business in 1999 and after winning a few awards, I reviewed where it all started to go really well. That’s when it hit me; it truly wouldn’t have happened without the other half – my support system.

In my generation of women (30-40 year olds), I am finding it’s common practice for men to take a more significant domestic role due to their partner being the major bread winner or unable to participate day to day in the domestic duties. They aren’t complaining, they aren’t thought of any less in their peer group. In fact, discussing detergent smells and engine noises at the same time is common ground for these guys.

Our expectations have shifted and so have our perceptions– at least in my world.

Our guys these days are strong, emotionally secure and fully functioning men with proper views in the world. They’re happy to partner and believe in being part of the process, whether that means they are the bread winner or the domestic caretaker.

Most senior roles of any kind take time, pressure, effort and significant stress. The roles and needs don’t’ change. The old adage of behind every great man there is a woman, the true future statement is behind every man or woman there is someone there to support them in whatever capacity that may be.




Categories: Entrepreneurial Journey Inspirational members Productivity


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