In The News: Female Senior Living Execs Talk Work-Life Balance, ‘Doing It All’

Four Female Senior Living Leaders Speak on Panel

Currently, almost 70% of the employees in senior living management roles are women—and they shouldn’t always have to sacrifice quality time with their families for their jobs.

That’s according to four female senior living leaders who spoke on a Tuesday panel about women in leadership at the 2018 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference in San Diego.

During the discussion, the panelists spoke about the idea of “doing it all,” the mentors who shaped their careers and the support they’ve received from their colleagues both inside and outside of the workplace.

‘Doing it all’

For female senior housing executives, work-life balance isn’t necessarily elusive—it’s just a mischaracterization of the truth.

“I start by not calling it ‘balance,’” Shamim Wu, COO of Elmcroft by Eclipse Senior Living, explained during the session. “I really look at it like a blend.”

Sometimes, work is going to cut into family time, and family time is inevitably going to distract from the job.

“There are days, weeks, or even months, where work dominates your life, because that… is what the business requires,” Wu noted. “But there are times where your family dominates your life.”

Wu’s children know that there might be times on a Saturday when she has to take a call for work, and her team at Elmcroft knows that she might miss an 11 a.m. meeting because she has to attend her children’s school orientation.

“Neither party makes any bones about it,” Wu said.

Still, work should rarely take precedence over an event that’s important to your family, according to Brandywine Living President and CEO Brenda Bacon.

“Decide now that you’re always going to choose that thing that’s important to your family and your kids,” Bacon advised. “And that doesn’t mean when you show up that you aren’t going to still outwork and outshine every man in the room.”

It’s also not a bad idea to actually bring your kids to work, panelists agreed.

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