Balance or Burnout? IWD Lessons from Global Female Leaders

Balance or Burnout? IWD Lessons from Global Female Leaders

Balance or Burnout? IWD Lessons from Global Female Leaders

🌍As I prepare to facilitate this year’s series of International Women’s Day (IWD) workshops, I am reflecting on one of the past ones that I found incredibly connecting. I had the extraordinary privilege of facilitating a dynamic workshop with women leaders hailing from various corners of the globe, including the UK, US, Nigeria, Rwanda, Morocco, and Uganda. Our discussions, held in breakout rooms and with the help of a virtual collaboration tool, unearthed profound insights that resonate deeply, especially as we gear up for this year’s celebrations under the theme of INspire Inclusion.

So, let me share some of the key takeaways:

  • Representation Matters: Participants emphasised the pivotal role of representation in navigating the delicate balance between thriving in careers and fulfilling caring responsibilities. Witnessing successful individuals who are managing similar equilibrium serves as a powerful reminder that diverse paths are equally valued.
  • Inclusive Culture is Key: Organisations wield immense influence in cultivating inclusive environments. We agreed that those that implement flexible policies and foster a compassionate culture, create spaces where individuals with caring responsibilities feel seen, included and supported. This feeds a crucial psychological contract that empowers everyone to perform at their best while maintaining a work-life integration tailored to their unique needs.
  • Courageous Requests are Needed: Advocating for oneself and others requires courage. Participants acknowledged the vulnerability that comes with speaking up to request adjustments or support. However, they highlighted that such requests often represent the unspoken needs of many who may be hesitant to voice their concerns. Using our voices becomes a catalyst for positive change within our workplaces.
  • Compassion is Crucial: Juggling multiple priorities is inherently challenging. Amidst these challenges, participants emphasised the importance of extending compassion to oneself and others. The workshop underscored the need to navigate these responsibilities without unnecessary self-criticism or judgement of others. Embracing empathy and recognising our shared humanity became a prevailing theme throughout our global dialogue.

As we get ready for more sessions, I extend my deepest gratitude to the insightful groups of female leaders from around the world who generously share their experiences during our workshops.

Their openness and honesty not only enrich our understanding of the roadblocks women face and their resilient journeys to career success but also fuel a passionate commitment to champion diversity and inclusion, transcending the boundaries of International Women’s DAY.

Leaders, Allies and Sponsors:

  • What are your plans for this year’s IWD?
  • How have you supported, celebrated and sponsored the women in your lives, your female colleagues, women in leadership ERGs and senior female leaders?
  • What more could you do this year to proactively fuel inclusion and fight for gender equity?

🌐✨ International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

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