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Work life balance is a struggle

Recent research from the ‘Working Smarter, Not Harder’ networking event held by and Microsoft highlighted some key problems for women working in IT surrounding work / life balance and flexible working. Although over half (55%) of women that attended felt that they did have a work / life balance, almost all added an “although” or a “but” to their answer.

“It’s a tough juggling act” said one respondent. “I have struggled with it throughout my career. It’s definitely something you have to make happen rather than expect other people to provide.” Another said “I fear every time I change jobs about whether the company is going to put work / life balance on their agenda.” 77% said that their current organisation does support flexible working, but many added that although it was supported in theory, the reality is that it is not practiced. Others commented that flexible working hours are frowned upon by colleagues and one respondent explained “yes my organisation does support flexible working; however my understanding is that in reality, not all managers allow their respective teams to participate.”  

This widespread dissatisfaction with work / life balance was what the event aimed to address. The key note speaker was Dr Suzanne Doyle-Morris who talked about what makes successful people work smarter and not harder in order to achieve a work life balance that is unique and completely right for them. The number of women working in IT is dwindling and work / life balance is often cited as a key reason for this. Hopefully the event taught the women present how they can work ‘smarter, not harder’ and find a way of achieving that work / life balance that we all strive for. Details of the event can be found at


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