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How to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance – Avenue Calgary

Three inspirational Calgary women (including two Avenue Top 40 alums) discussed work-life balance at the last Young Women of Influence event of 2012.

Excerpt from Avenue Calgary | Dec 6th, 2013
BY Emily Rack


A crowd of Calgary’s emerging professional women gathered last week at the Young Women of Influence “Work-Life Balance” panel to hear three inspirational women reveal their tips about having it all.

Young Women of Influence events are held across the country, covering topics that are pervasive among women everywhere such as negotiating your career, personal branding and finding your passion. The organization aims to connect emerging professional women in a social environment with innovative speakers to help spark discussion.

Leslie Scorgie, Melissa Gunning and Nancy Foster all spoke from their experiences about finding moderation between work and home life. Here is some of their advice:

Lesley Scorgie: Think about the long term and check your priorities

Scorgie is a 2011 Avenue Top 40 Under 40 and author of Rich by 30 and Rich by 40. She aims to promote financial literacy and improve the North American energy portfolio. When not writing books, Scorgie’s a Metro News columnist, treasurer for the YWCA and recently finished her MBA.

“I like to think of balance as a long term gain. There’s a constant tension between doing too much and doing too little, so you should try and be efficient with your days. For me, the priorities are a healthy mind, healthy body and dreams.”

“I made the mistake of saying yes to everything when I was getting started. My lack of priorities showed itself when I couldn’t see my friends or my family. Be fiercely protective about how valuable your time is. “

“Everyone and their dog have an opinion on where you should be in your personal life and your career. They don’t matter. Define balance yourself, and remember your time is your own.”

Melissa Gunning: Don’t feel guilty about working and surround yourself with supportive people

Gunning is the founder of Wean Green, an environmentally friendly baby product line, a 2011 Avenue Top 40 Under 40 and a teacher-turned-CEO with two young kids. She started Wean Green while on maternity leave and co-founded the 10,000 Kids Project.

“Every day balance means a different thing. I eliminate the mummy guilt from working and travelling by remembering that nobody can teach my girls what empowerment is better than I can.”

“Surrounding yourself with people who understand your goals personally and professionally is important. A strong support network is key to success.”

“Try and plan ahead as much as possible.”

Nancy Foster: Learn how to make good choices for you

Foster is senior VP of Human & Corporate Resources at Husky Industries. She works as a mentor for younger generations of women and started a women’s network within Husky. Foster has four grown-up kids and is deeply involved in Calgary’s cultural community.

“I was very lucky to have a mentor. In oil and gas, we still haven’t come as far as we need to in terms of diversity.”

“You have to make choices. It has to be about you, and you need to keep in mind performance hours versus hours spent. When I first started at Husky, I saw that the VPs were flexible, so I knew that’s what I wanted to do. It meant that when I was home, I was home.

“Ask yourself ‘how much can I possibly do and how does it benefit me?’ You need to be happy with the choices you make. You’re never going to be able to do everything.”