Achieving “work-life balance” is still a challenge for many professionals. It is particularly challenging for those of us working in the service-based, accounting industry. Our clients expect, and deserve, superior, high-quality service; our workloads are driven by deadlines. A “reasonable” work-life balance is the coveted prize of many of today’s working professionals.
During the “busy seasons,” we spend long hours in the office, juggle multiple engagements with moving deadlines, develop new business opportunities, as well as have residual capacity for the occasional ‘surprise’ project. Through all of this, we sometimes have to “check” our personal lives at the door and make client service our number one priority.
In a perfect world, during our busiest of times, there would be no birthday parties to attend, no anniversary celebrations to recognize, the family would not get sick, the children would feed themselves, and your spouse would be understanding. Needless to say, the constant tug-of-war between “career versus personal” presents a unique challenge for all professionals - but female professionals continue to be more heavily impacted.
Despite many advancements over the years, women are still expected by society to be the primary caretakers of their children and family members. It is often assumed that women won’t return to the workforce or will “slow down” their career growth after starting a family. Unfortunately, this societal viewpoint can permeate even the most observant and knowledgeable of firms.
Many traditional professional services firms continue to be reluctant to implement new policies and procedures that would provide employees with a greater degree of flexibility to make work-life balance easier to achieve. Other firms offer these programs on paper, but they do not stand behind them. These initiatives must be embraced and encouraged; doing so is a win for all—both women and men.
I consider myself fortunate to be a part of an ever-growing movement within our Citrin Cooperman family; creating programs to create a better work environment. To #BeBoldForChange means I am a part of a dynamic team of committed professionals that work tirelessly to broaden our horizons and explore our options – thinking outside the box. Together we can challenge the traditional mold for hopes of a better future; a more gender inclusive firm.