Can women have it all? What does having it all mean, anyway? If you do manage to achieve this ideal, do you end up with regrets? What advice do successful women have for others—especially younger women and men who are starting out in their careers?
We posed those questions to dozens of Truly Amazing Women, as well as a handful of amazing Millennials, and some stellar men. In turn, we received dozens of responses from these folks, who are working in a variety of industries—from government execs, and entrepreneurs whose companies generate multimillions, to artists, authors, and the intrapreneurs who are building companies from the inside as employees, and consultants.
- The short version of their responses are listed below by industry — and what they have to say may surprise you. Mostly, we think that they will inspire you!
Want to chime in? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Send us your ideas via email: email@example.com.
A contributor to “CBS This Morning,” Woodruff is the author of several books, including the bestseller, “Perfectly Imperfect: A Life in Progress,” the second one she published about midlife, after her husband, ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff, suffered a traumatic brain injury while covering the war in Iraq. Her latest book, published in 2012, is a work of fiction, “Those We Love Most.”
Can women have it all? When Bob [ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff] began recovering from his injury, we penned, “In An Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing,” because I wanted to offer a candid description of what happened in Iraq, and the struggles we faced as a family as Bob recovered. It was an experience that, obviously, changed us all. For me, the definition of what it means to be powerful has changed over the years. Whereas women once had the goal of being “Superwoman,” I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day. I think women wear so many different hats today that we never quite feel powerful in all areas—at least, not at the same time. When we are doing great at work, we know we are dropping the ball at home, and visa versa. The challenge for me is one of acceptance.
Read more about Woodruff in the March 2011 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine, and click here to read her charming blog: www.leewoodruff.com.
DR. ESTHER STERNBERG
Director of research at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona at Tucson, she is an internationally recognized scientist and author, known for her discoveries in brain-immune interactions and the effects of the brain’s stress response on health: the science of the mind-body interaction.
Can women have it all? Having it all means being “present” emotionally and physically for one’s family, having the opportunity to nurture them and help them grow, and also have a rewarding and successful career. I definitely feel like I “have it all”—I did it in series rather than in parallel. I don’t think you can “have it all,” all at the same time. The reality is children need attention and you need to be there for them. It is impossible to have a family and be successful in a career at the same time. One doesn’t necessarily have to stop work to focus on family when the children are small, but it does require that that the child or children take precedence over the career when they are young. It also requires organization, stamina, a strong support network, and a flexible work schedule.
Read more about Dr. Sternberg in the June 2012 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine, and learn more about her work at www.esthersternberg.com.
YVETTE MONTERO SALVATICO
Futurist, and former manager of future workforce insights at Disney, she is the co-founder of Kedge, a foresight and futures, innovation, creativity, and strategic design consultancy.
Can women have it all? As a wife, mother, and driven career woman, I am often asked about how I successfully find a balance. The truth is I don’t. While many men (including my husband) have certainly expanded their household and child-rearing duties beyond those of their 1950s “Leave It to Beaver” counterparts, the fact still remains that it is in a woman’s core to care for her family. When we gave women the “right” to pursue education and professional careers, we added to an already full plate and set the expectation for those who followed those trailblazers. Women of my generation and those of my mother’s feel we must do it all in order to acknowledge our predecessors who weren’t given the boundless opportunities we often take for granted. I grew up with the unshakeable belief that women can do everything men can do, but the truth is men and women are not the same. We are equal, but we are not the same. So it should come as no surprise that when women try to pursue jobs set up for their male peers, we struggle to be successful.
Read more about Salvatico, at www.kedgefutures.com.
BOKS KIDS FOUNDER KATHLEEN TULLIE, REEBOK
The director of Reebok’s nonprofit organization BoksKids.org is a former financial planner and Boston mom who didn’t feel like she had it all—so she quit her well-paying finance job a few years ago to stay home with her kids. Then Reebok came calling.
Can women have it all? I don’t believe there is one woman on this planet who would have the same definition for “having it all.” Each one of us has our own desires, drive, and determination to achieve our goals. We each have a different mix of mental and physical aptitude that contributes to goals and dreams being accomplished at a different pace. I am always fascinated by individuals who, from the outside, appear to “have it all.” Once you peel back a layer (this can usually be done over a nice, long run or a glass of wine), I always discover something that is not working on all cylinders. For me, it comes to down to this: “Having it all” is having my health, my family, and feeling content with myself. The rest is great, and I aim to be as successful as possible as mom, wife, and entrepreneur. Is it different for men? No, they are in the same boat. Again, it’s all relative, and a matter of perspective.
Read more about Tullie’s and Reebok’s Boks Kids in the January 2012 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine, and learn more about her work at www.bokskids.org.
Dubbed the “queen of putting people’s lives in order” by USA Today, she is an organizing and time-management expert, business productivity consultant, speaker, and a New York Times bestselling author.
Can women have it all? I think “having it all” is about striking a nourishing and energizing balance between the various departments of your life. In my work as a productivity expert, I’ve learned that each person requires a different blend between work-family-romance-self-community, and that our needs evolve over the course of our lives. When you hit the right balance, you feel engaged, fulfilled, and alive. When one department monopolizes your time at the expense of others, you feel depleted, exhausted, cranky, and unhappy. It’s not realistic to expect to have the perfect blend every day, or even every week, as life and its various components are far too dynamic—but through mindfulness and effort, you can create a life in which all of your essential components are present and active, and balance out to a satisfying mix.
Read more about Morgenstern in the January 2010 inaugural issue of Be Inkandescent magazine, and learn more about her work at www.juliemorgenstern.com.
Founder of Smile Network International, a Minnesota-based humanitarian organization that provides life-altering reconstructive surgeries to impoverished children in developing countries.
Can women have it all? Yes, I do think we can—but there is always compromise. When you have a career and a family, you have to set priorities. My family has been extremely supportive, and has been an integral part of Smile Network. I also believe we all reach a point in our lives where we start to search for something deeper, richer, and more substantive. We want the sum total of our life to add up to more. I often ask myself: What stones have I left unturned? What passion or desire have I not pursued? What is my purpose? In the final analysis, I don’t think we will be judged for the hours we spent at the office, the closets we cleaned, or the errands we ran, but rather for the difference we made in the lives of others—our families, our friends, and the strangers we meet along the way.
Read more about Valentini and the Smile Network in the October 2010 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine, and learn more about her work at www.smilenetwork.org.
Who she is: Carolina Garcia just couldn’t find a proper baguette when she moved to DC. So the native of Colombia—who was trained as an economist and previously worked as an international relations specialist—took the matter into her own hands. Literally. In 2011, she opened LeoNora Gourmet Bakery—and bread fans from around the DC region have since been flocking in for french bread, brioche, challah, croissants, madeleines, cakes, and tartalettes.
Can women have it all? Women can have everything and even more. We are non stoppable if we want to. Our sensibility as well as our intelligence, when used strategically, can create a competitive advantage that can take us anywhere that we want to; We just need to be organized and stay focused on our objectives.
Any regrets? I think that in life you can’t regret anything that you have done with good intentions. These events are more like experiences that give you knowledge of “what not to do next time”; you can always learn from them. Taking this into consideration, I don’t regret anything I have done, even though I have made a lot of mistakes and, if you ask me, I would have done some things different to how I did them for the first time. But again, I wouldn’t be able to say this if I hadn’t done it before.
Advice for others: DON’T GIVE UP! Everyday the sun shines again. Don’t be discouraged and dont let anyone discourage you. Dreams can be real as long as you stick to them. Sometimes they don’t turn out as we imagined but we can always learn from that. As someone said: “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you land among the stars.”
Learn more about Garcia and LeoNora Bakery at www.leonorabakery.com.
Who she is: Stephanie Bhonslay practices law in NYC by day, and by night is tends to two kids, husband, and her company, Garden U, a New York City-based gardening firm that educates people how to create and maintain their own beautiful terrace and backyard gardens.
Can women have it all? As a stressed-out, New York City attorney pushing 50 with two teenage kids, no babysitter, a gardening business on the side that does not get as much attention as it should (and therefore doesn’t make as much money as it could), with a Phi Beta Kappa lawyer/businessman husband who has had four (or is it five?) finance jobs in the last four years, a mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s, a house in the country we can’t sell (and can’t afford), and no disposable income for a facial tuck or Botox, blah, blah, blah … I still answer YES!!!!!! YES???? Yes! I have it all, and so do you. How do I know this? If you’re like me, at the end of a long day at work, you get to come home and help your kids with their homework, share a family dinner (who doesn’t love leftovers?), say “sweet dreams” to them as you sprint with your wine glass to the couch to hang out with your husband for an hour and muffle your laughter as you watch a sex scene on an inappropriate TV show. That’s good stuff. What’s even better is leaving work to watch a school play (even when you have no personal days left), sparing 10 minutes for a phone call with your best friend, taking a weekly trip to the gym or nail salon—and clearly recognizing how wonderful your life is.
Learn more about Bhonslay and her company, Garden U, at www.gardenu.net.
Who she is: The president the executive coaching and changepmanagement consulting firm Change Partners, Inc., was president and COO of GMAC Insurance Personal Lines-Agency Division.
Can women have it all? A resounding yes! We just can’t have it all all of the time or all at once. We have to make choices. The good news is we have a much larger portfolio of options to choose from these days. The bad news is that it’s always harder to choose from more options than fewer options. We need to be conscious of the choices we’re making, so that we don’t make them by default. And, that’s a challenge because the demands of the various roles in our lives are coming at us at such a rapid pace that it’s easy just to react instead of taking a step back to reflect and choose how to use our time, talent, energy, and heart. To make the choices we’re confronted with, we each have to define what “having it all” means to us as an individual. That has to be answered very personally. This is an “inside-out” view, not an “outside-in view.” It’s not gender driven, in my view. It’s about being human. The gender piece (and it’s big!) comes externally from what society in general and our communities, families, etc., expect from us. If we can identify what having it all means to us as individuals, we can make it happen over time. It’s not a “once and done” event, though. And it’s not about what others’ expect from us; it’s about what we expect from ourselves. It’s a process. It evolves. It’s an adventure.
Learn more about Godwin and ChangePartners, Inc. at www.changepartnersofpa.com.
CYNTHIA DE LORENZI
Chief executive officer of Success in the City, an unconventional professional networking organization for senior-level executive businesswomen.
Can women have it all? Today’s woman is confident and educated, and in greater numbers than ever before is surpassing the number of men who are graduating from college today. She knows she can make a difference for herself and her family. Of course we/she/he can have it all! But as I pondered this question and considered our humanness, inquisitiveness, hunger, passion, and burning desires, I wondered if we are ever really satisfied, even when we do have it all. Think about those women and men whose names we readily recognize, who have achieved amazing success and accumulated great wealth, obviously having it all. Do they seem satisfied, happy? And even if we achieve what we traditionally consider great success and all that goes with it, there is often something, perhaps it’s restlessness or a sense of incompleteness, that awakens and begins to drive us. It is something nudging us to take heed and reach deep within ourselves to discover and act on a special personal gift that is uniquely our own. Once found, our purpose calls on us to propel it beyond ourselves, out into the world, to leave a legacy that we passed through here in time and space.
Read more about de Lorenzi in Truly Amazing Women, and click here to visit www.successinthecity.org.
THE ARTISTS & AUTHORS
Professional dancer turned fine artist, she was chosen by former President Bill Clinton to assist with the Clinton Citizen Awards Project. Her popular artwork brings attention to issues of gender justice and discrimination.
Can women have it all? To “have it all” is an abstract concept. Our lives are fluid; nobody “has it all” at all times, for we all face challenges at one point or another. For me, having it all would mean having the capacity to appreciate every moment of the life that I have created. As a visual artist, “having it all” means being able to keep creating art that is meaningful to me and that makes a contribution to society. Broad expectations can become a burden. I strive always to continue to grow as a person and as a professional, so I am always reaching for higher goals, and at the same time, I think I “have it all” when I can appreciate being in the present and enjoy the life that I have created—achievements and challenges included.
Read more about Arroyo in our Q&A with the award-winning artist, and click here to visit www.andreaarroyo.com.
The New York Times best-selling author of Pictures of You, has been on the Best Books of 2011 Lists from the San Francisco Chronicle, Kirkus Reviews, The Providence Journal and Bookmarks Magazine.
Can women have it all? Freud said, “One can live magnificently in this world if one knows how to work and how to love.” Of course, that takes some juggling. I gave up a steady 9-to-5 job with great benefits so I could stay at home and write, and spend more time with my work-at-home husband and our growing son. I wanted it all: child, career, husband. Of course, I gave up the benefits, the steady salary. But what I got in return was being able to wake up every day without that nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was able to do work that I truly love, all the while being around the people I loved the most.
Read more about Leavitt in the Q&A we did with the award-winning author,- and click here to visit www.carolineleavitt.com.
The former and founding executive director of the Center for Women’s Business Research has been a leader in creating social change for women for more than two decades. Her latest book is “How Women Lead.”
Can women have it all? Yes, we can—over a lifetime. For our book, How Women Lead, we interviewed women in top leadership positions in the financial industry, retail, law, pharmaceuticals, and the military. Without exception, they report successfully integrating career, family, community service, and personal goals. At the end of the day, the extent to which each of us makes life choices based on knowing ourselves, our values, and our goals is what determines whether we believe we are living a full and fulfilling life.
Read more of Hadary’s ideas in the article she wrote for us about her new book, How Women Lead, And click here to visit www.howsuccessfulwomenlead.com.
LISA EARLE MCLEOD
A sales leadership consultant, author, speaker, and conflict resolution specialist Lisa McLeod has worked with companies including Apple, Kimberly-Clark, and Pfizer hire her to help them create passionate, purpose-driven sales forces. She’s the author of “The Triangle of Truth,” which The Washington Post named a “Top Five Book for Leaders.”
Can women have it all? It’s not PC to say this, but, I don’t believe we can “do it all” at least not at once. But we can eventually “have it all,” over the long arc of our lives. Children take nurturing and so do careers. You can maintain one, while you grow the other, but to think that you’re going to be intensely focused on both at the same time is unrealistic. If you’re in a work environment where success is defined as 70 plus hours of uber-focused work, it’s going to be difficult to be the kind of mother most of us want to be. Actually, with that kind of work load, it’s difficult to even have a cat. As an aside, I believe that until we create a different kind of workplace that values talent more than a 70-hour work week, there will continue to be a talent drain of top level women. But for a woman deciding how to spend her energy right now, you have to deal with the current structure.
Learn more about McLeod at www.lisaearlemcleod.com.
Author of the dating memoir, “The Science of Single: One Woman’s Grand Experiment in Modern Dating, Creating Chemistry, and Finding Love.”
Can women have it all? What does “having it all” even mean? Surely this is a subjective sentiment. In the generalized context of our culture—where it can include leading businesses, nurturing families, and attending to community with a focus on perfection—it seems to involve superpowers that we as women (ahem, humans) were not built to sustain. So, no, women can’t have it all. And thank god for that. Because “having it all” the way I’ve heard it explained sounds terrible. However, women can have enough. Plenty, in fact. This would be achieved by focusing on the things and people that bring happiness, making a commitment to the things and people who will stand by us for years to come, and ceasing the “should-ing” on ourselves.
Read more about the reason Machacek wrote The Science of Single, and click here to visit www.rachelmachacek.com.
With more than 20 years of experience as the owner of Sharon Armstrong and Associates, she is a human resources consultant, trainer, and career counselor who consults with many large corporations and small businesses. She is also the co-author of the “The Essential HR Handbook.”
Can women have it all? Having it all means creating balance (when possible) between personal and professional life. I don’t think anyone can achieve that balance all the time. That’s unrealistic. But with mindfulness and effort, you can reorder or prioritize things from time to time. I don’t have children, so I might have had an easier juggling act than others. There were years where work was my first priority and my personal life suffered. Those close to me were understanding (I think), but I missed some events and opportunities to enjoy life more. In the last year or so, I’ve realized that this work-first approach no longer works for me. Nowadays I’m turning down some assignments and planning more trips and outings. It feels great!
Read more about Armstrong’s advice on Careers and HR here, and click here to visit www.sharonarmstrongandassociates.com.
A human resources and organization development consultant who is widely known in the areas of recruitment and retention. She served in senior human-resources leadership positions with Marriott International and several technology firms in the Washington, DC, area before co-founding the Millennium Group International, which she sold in 2008. Thereafter, she penned “The Essential HR Handbook,” with co-author Sharon Armstrong (see above). In 2012, she published, “The Big Book of HR,” with co-author Cornelia Gamlem.
Can women have it all? My perspective may be different than some other women’s, since I have not had a family to consider as I made career choices. I know this has made my career path easier because when I made decisions, I pretty much only had to think of myself. But, yes, I do believe that women can have it all. The definition of what “it” is might be different at different times in our lives, but with dedication, determination, and not much sleep, we can do it! Find a career you are passionate about and take advantage of every seminar, class, cross-training, task force, or whatever is offered to you to gain experience. Find mentors inside and outside your field where you can go for reality checks. Build strong professional relationships with other women and support each other! Take time to give back to the community you live in. Select a significant other who values you for who you are—not what you can do for him or her. Treat everyone with respect and never stop giving thanks for the opportunities you’ve been given. Take time to feed your soul—whether in a spiritual sense or just taking time for yourself to paint, write, read, garden, hike, swim, or whatever is meaningful for you. And, above all, don’t take yourself so seriously!
Learn more about Mitchell and “The Big Book of HR” at www.bigbookofhr.com.
The founder of the first film-and-video-crew staffing agency, Crews Control, her company’s focus since 1988 has been to match each client with the perfect local crew for each shoot. She’s also a serial entrepreneur who co-founded the media staffing and production management firm TeamPeople, and is on the board of directors of Scenios, which provides powerful cloud-based software.
Can women have it all? I’ve been hearing that phrase since I was in my early teens, when women entered the workforce in full force, and began bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan. I think the key line for me in that song from the 1980 perfume commercial is “cause I’m a woman.” I also believe that “having it all” means different things for men and women. And my question is: Why does it have to be either/or, or win/lose? Why can’t it be win/win? For both men and women, it means picking the very best items to balance between work, family, time for self, time with friends—the list is endless and different for each and every one of us.
Read more of Keating’s insights in her monthly Videography column, and for more information about Crews Control, visit www.crewscontrol.com.
President & CEO of the Washington, DC, metro area’s largest limousine, bus, and shuttle service, Reston Limousine and Travel Service, Inc.
Can women have it all? To me, having it all means having a career—and also having kids. I have four of them, in fact, so it’s incredibly important to me to find a way to incorporate a meaningful, fulfilling career—with a certain level of success—and being an engaged mother. Granted, for the first five years that I was in business, I did not have kids. So I was able to work seven days a week, 16 hours a day, to build Reston Limousine. When I did have kids, my business was far along enough that I could scale back my hours, and work from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fortunately, I have a strong support staff, which allows me to give my job 100 percent during the day, and give my kids 100 percent after business hours. I also have a full-time nanny who lives with us and handles the cooking and cleaning. And, I have an executive assistant at work who helps me with personal errands. To have it all, it takes a village. And I’m fortunate to be able to afford this luxury so that I can balance work and motherhood.
Read more about Bouweiri’s Reston Limousine at www.restonlimo.com.
LYNDSEY DE PALMA
An MBA who in the fall of 2012 opened the House of Steep in Arlington, VA, a tea house and foot sanctuary that enables patrons to soak in the benefits of tea and herbal foot baths, disconnecting from their days while reconnecting with their natural selves.
Can women have it all? An emphatic yes! I think a lot of us define “it all” differently, but to me, having all of life’s offerings isn’t usually too far out of reach, depending on how we define our fulfillment. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter who we are—if we can imagine it, it is within reach. If we still want more, setting our intention on having it (and being very specific about what “it” is) is the first step. Setting our sights on the outcome will help our actions align with our goals. Beyond this, a little support can do a gal some good and help us to achieve even more. So surrounding yourself with supportive people can carry you far. Setting a timeline is helpful for the things we can influence, but sometimes it’s the timing that we can’t necessarily will our way. This is what I’d say is the biggest hurdle: patience … and awareness that “it” might already be closer than we realize.
Read more about de Palma’s new House of Steep at www.houseofsteep.com.
Owner of the sailing school at Washington Sailing Marina since 1994 and sailing director since 1988, for the past 20 years she has used the sport of sailing to teach lifelong lessons to diverse youth groups. Zang is also a wife and a mom to two teenagers, and during the school year is an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University and Drexel University.
Can women have it all? My husband often asks with exasperation, “Why do you want to have it all?” He typically follows that with, “Can’t you ever be satisfied?” I grin, and respond: “What I do is extremely important to me. I want to have a fulfilling career and raise a family.” Then I keep grinning, and walk away. Indeed, the whole package—the tight-knit family and successful career, is something that I have worked my entire life to achieve. But for me, that’s still not enough. I also want time to foster friendships that I value, and time to pursue my favorite pastimes. And, I have a passionate need for spontaneity. I also want to be independent—and be taken care of. I want my freedom, but desire to be needed by my kids and husband, and my extended family. And still, I want them to easily let me take off for a “girls weekend.” I want to have big long-term and short-term goals, but they need to change as I grow and learn more about myself and the world. I don’t think that any of that is asking for too much. After all, I am willing to do the work, to foster the relationships both professionally and personally, because in doing so I am building a life so that I can “have it all.”
Read more about Zang’s summer sailing camp at www.washingtonsailingmarina.com.
Who she is: With more than 17 years of entertainment business experience, Lisa Mercurio is credited with developing the media and multi-platform marketing strategies for a diverse array of projects and artists across varying genres. She co-founded Smash Arts in 2000 with business partner Cindy Bressler to develop entertainment properties and management in the music, television and lifestyle sectors. Clients have included Warner Bros., Sony Wonder, and pianist Leon Fleisher.
Can women have it all? After my twins were born, I struggled for more than half a decade in a corporate job in a senior vice president position. I never felt like I had enough time for them as babies. I would rush home at 7:30 p.m. (imagine: I felt I was leaving the office early!), I traveled entirely too much, and I always felt like I had to watch my back in the office. I was on the edge. Now, I run my own company with my business partner (we are co-founders), and I have a lot of freedom. I live and die by my own sword (both financially and decision-wise), but if I want to leave the office to see someone play volleyball or appear in a school play, I can do it. I am also an avid marathon runner. I put my health and fitness first, because if I cannot be good to me, I cannot be good to anyone, and besides, I do some of my best thinking out on the open road. I am married to the love of my life, and I have rich and rewarding relationships around me. Have it all? You bet! I’m happy.
Read more here about The Bedtime Network, and get details on SmashArts at www.smasharts.com.
Founder of FreelanceMom.com, a community resource for moms and women. Mother to Gabriela, 2, she says her superpower is her ability to find humor in any situation.
Can women have it all? Does having it all mean having no stress, and being home with your children Monday through Friday? If that’s your choice, does it mean you still get to shop at Whole Foods and send your child to private school? Does it mean having your dream job and being able to be with your kids any time you choose? Then, no. I consider myself very lucky because I am able to work from home, and be with my daughter when I want. Whole Foods and private school? We can live without those luxuries. So ask yourself: How much money do you really need? What can you do today to set yourself up to have more freedom in your day? For single moms, it’s a different story. But for those of us who have someone to depend on—financially and emotionally—we get to choose what we want in life, and go after it.
Read more about Stein at www.freelancemom.com.
FUTURIST KRISTIN NAUTH
Who she is: Kristin Nauth is a partner in Foresight Alliance, a futures-oriented consulting company based in Washington, DC, that helps organizations apply the power of strategic foresight. She specializes in taking a global view of trends and events and exploring how they are likely to impact societies, organizations, and individuals.
Can women have it all? It’s a deep and complex question. I’m going to address it from the perspective of personal fulfillment: I think, as individuals, women can “have it all” if we define that as a life focused on contribution, strong relationships, and continual learning and growth. While we’re all unique, keeping those three priorities at the center of our decision-making can help us ensure that everything we do leads toward a deeply engaged, deeply meaningful life. We need to keep our eyes on the real prizes, and pare away the trivia that doesn’t support them. By the way, the focus on learning is particularly crucial. The great futurist Bucky Fuller used to say that learning itself is a form of wealth, and that every experience, however painful or unwanted, can be a net gain if you are able to learn from it. So when the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune catch us in mid-stride, as they are so wont to do, we always have the choice to turn it into new knowledge, wisdom, and strength. I’m an inherently shy person, which has been challenging at times and has cost me some valuable opportunities, especially when I was starting out. I think my shyness sets me apart from a lot of successful women. But I’ve learned from these experiences and worked hard to overcome my shortcomings. These days I feel incredibly blessed by the multitude of opportunities open to me at both the personal and professional level—opportunities to contribute, grow, and forge great relationships with people whom I enjoy and respect. So, all of you shy women out there—you can do it! Feel free to contact me if you’d like to talk about it. We need your voice.
Learn more about Kristin and Foresight Alliance, at www.foresightalliance.com.
A personal-brand strategist who has spent her career creating rock stars—not the obvious ones, who scream so loud you can’t ignore them—but the ones who have a genuine spark that simply needs a little stoking.
Can women have it all? Life is about choices. Our best choices honor—at the deepest level—who we are and who we want to be. So “having it all” becomes such an individual definition. Can you be the stereotypical cookie-baking, knee-kissing mom and the CEO of say, IBM? I doubt it. But can you be a great mom and have a kick-ass career? Youbetcha. Just don’t look to me to be the example. I skipped the having kids part and ditched the big corporate career for a more fulfilling (to me) entrepreneurial life. But when I met my Mr. Right later in life, he came with two grown boys I adore as my own. Traditional? No. Have it all? Heck, yes.
Read more about Moulton at rochellemoulton.com.
Director of Sun & Moon Yoga Studio in Northern Virginia, Moyer manages two large yoga studios with more than 50 teachers, 120 classes per week, and 1,200+ students, sees clients privately for yoga therapeutics, teaches a Philosophy of Yoga class in a local public high school, and is the mom of twin, middle-school girls.
Can women have it all? Absolutely, … but if you define “having it all” as having a fulfilling career, a well cared-for family and intimate partner and friends, a full and exciting social life, a nice home, and all the instruments of comfort and luxury, then there’s a critical piece missing. If the “all” depends entirely on external circumstances, none of which we can ultimately control, then we’re setting ourselves up for failure and loss. My definition of “having it all” is believing, on a true and deep level, that if everything about your life changed tomorrow, you’d still be okay. I believe the “all” that really counts is a connection to an inner light of awareness that shines brightly no matter the emotional, physical, social, and economic weather. In all the ancient Eastern traditions, we are reminded of the truth of impermanence, the lesson of non-attachment to the things are are guaranteed to change sooner or later, and the blessing of true and abiding love that comes from a divine inner quiet that stays with us our whole lives. We already have it “all,” we simply forget where to look for it.
For more information about Annie Moyer and Sun & Moon Yoga Studio, visit www.sunandmoonstudio.com.
A Certified Financial Planner™ based in Bethesda, MD, she works with individuals and families to help them identify, clarify, and quantify their financial goals and objectives. Since January 2012, she has been the president of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area.
Can women have it all? Well, it kind of depends. I smile to myself as I write that, because my teenage daughter would cringe and remark, “Mom, there’s no ‘kinda.’ You can’t be kinda pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.” Truthfully, I do believe that women can “have it all.” But that definition changes as we evolve. And, my experience juggling my responsibilities as a daughter, wife, mother, caregiver, professional, and small-business owner as a financial planner at Ameriprise has helped me strive for balance instead of perfection. Having control over my schedule is the only way I personally can achieve a balance between caring for my career and my family. But I would be remiss to focus only on myself. My children—and all children—are the future of our country; I want to do my part to raise confident, compassionate, creative individuals who will make a contribution as professionals, and as parents. So I do believe women can have it all—but it must be on our terms.
Read more of Cheng’s advice in her monthly column on Wealth. And learn more about her practice at www.ameripriseadvisors.com/marguerita.m.cheng.
An editor and writer in the mental health field for the last 20 years, she got into the business of business in 2011 when she became the senior editor for Be Inkandescent magazine. The mother of three teenage daughters, she also writes Be Inkandescent’s Parenting column.
Can women have it all? This question makes me cranky. I want to say, “Yes, of course! We’ve come so far; women can do anything!” But my gut response is much less “hear me roar,” and much more practical. The answer I keep coming back to is, “Yes, but not all at once.” Or alternatively, “Yes, if raising kids is off the table.” And even that “yes” is qualified. Women who opt for the non-parenting track still have to fight hard for equal pay, promotions, and recognition. Add children into the “wants” column, though, and the high-powered positions with “what’s-a-weekend?” schedules don’t mesh well. There is a middle ground—part-time professional work—but it’s a territory that remains frustratingly uncharted, or if it has been mapped, the cartographers haven’t posted it online. Every woman I know who became a mother and didn’t choose to be either a full-time employee or stay-at-home mom has had to craft a unique, part-time employee or contractor relationship. There’s just no built-in institutional support or infrastructure in the professional workplace for anything except full-time work. When I think about this question with my Zen vibe thrumming, however, I’m cheered by the possibilities of self-determination.
Read more advice from McCarthy in her regular Parenting column.
A veteran realtor who works with buyers and sellers in residential real estate, she co-owns Realty Investment Company with her husband, Shep Saltzman. They also own Vienna Complementary Medicine, where Barbara is a Reiki master and holistic esthetician who performs state-of-the-art facial rejuvenation.
Can women have it all? Maybe. But what I defined as “having it all” 10 years ago differs dramatically from my definition today. My primary commitment has always been my family, especially parenting, and I have tried to keep my actions consistent with that commitment. Did my commitment result in fewer pairs of shoes and earnings? Absolutely. Do I regret my choices? Absolutely not! The key is to know what you want, be consistent with your choices, and never look back. When you do, you will have a smile on your face and peace in your heart.
Read more about what’s hot, and new real-estate regulations to be aware of, in Balsamo and Saltzman’s monthly Be Inkandescent column on Real Estate. And for more details, visit www.realtyinvestmentcompany.com.
A certified executive coach and founder of Berdéo Group, she has counseled business leaders for 15 years at Fortune 500 companies, including JP Morgan Chase, Leo Burnett Worldwide, American Hospital Association, Starcom MediaVest Group, The Walt Disney World Company, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Can women have it all? When I compare myself to society’s definition of having it all, I come up short. I do not have children, I walked away from a six-figure salary, and I rent a modest condo. Both women and men have judged me on my choices, and I have been asked too many times why I don’t have children, why I would walk away from corporate “success,” and why I am not looking to buy a home—especially now that interest rates are so low. Yet, most of the time, I feel as if I do in fact have it all. When I am living a life true to myself, and not the expectation of others, I am fulfilled. One of my core values is exploration, which acts as my compass when making decisions—hence the reason I chose to leave my job to start a remote business in 2005, and decided to rent verses buy. This lifestyle creates flexibility and freedom to explore new avenues and places.
Read more advice from Berger in her Executive Coaching column. And for additional information, visit www.berdeogroup.com.
The author of “Put Your Big-Girl Panties on and Kick Your Fears in the Ass,” is a business consultant who has worked with Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., Washington Mutual Inc., Fannie Mae, Nextel Communications, and XO Communications.
Can women have it all? One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is being clear about what things are most important for me. When I was high school, I knew I didn’t want some things in my life, so I made decisions that removed those things from my life. What I didn’t do was look ahead and say, “This is who I’d like to be,” and “This is what I’d like to do.” Admittedly, that helped me take advantage of a variety of opportunities that I might not have had if I had put myself on a specific path. When I was little I wanted to be a nurse, then I wanted to be a social worker. By the time I graduated from college, I was involved with computers, and then I got a master’s degree, married an Air Force pilot, and moved all over the country with our three daughters. I worked, started to write books, and became a consultant. Was this the life I would have chosen if I had planned it? Not exactly, and yet it contains most of what is most important to me. So spend time finding out who you are, and what is most important to you. It’s not just about what you want to do—it’s about who you want to be. When you are clear about that, you not only can have it all—you do have it all, because your life is feeding your soul.
Read more about Lovas at www.lovasconsulting.com.
In addition to conducting celebrity interviews and hosting red-carpet events, GlenNeta Griffin appeared on Country Music Television’s reality show, “Cheerleader Again,” competing against nine other former cheerleaders for a $50,000 prize. She is the author of “Taking Back the Woman in Me.”
Can women have it all? Absolutely! Women are the backbone of the family and the glue that holds it all together. We are amazing creatures when it comes to multitasking. We are strong, independent, and most of us know when to step back and allow the man to take the lead. With proper balance in our lives, we can conquer the world. Everything I have experienced in my life has contributed to molding me into the woman I am today. I embrace the shortfalls and obstacles that have come my way because they have made me stronger. So push through the pain. Life is just a big test to see how bad you want it. Whether it’s success in your career or family, hard work will pay off. Never take a down period as a “no.” Those are times to prep for what’s next. Take care of your body and your mind and never stop perfecting your craft, whatever that may be. Don’t settle. You really do deserve the world.
Read more about Griffin at www.positivepresspr.com.
This icon in the art world is known for the posters he created of the hottest rock bands of the 1960s: Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, and their rock opera, “Tommy,” Traffic, Iron Butterfly, Ravi Shankar, and the Grateful Dead. In the 80s, Bryd worked on the Van Halen World Tour, and became a regular contributor of covers for “TV Guide” magazine. In 90s, he was the senior illustrator at Warner Bros. and crafted art for Looney Tunes, “Friends,” “Scooby Doo,” and “Harry Potter.”
Can women have it all? This is such a deeply philosophical question that is being asked by a society that is not only Darwinian, but also extremely patriarchal. It has been for eons of time, so what can one say? As a gay man, now in his 70s, I am highly aware of this biologically rigged game. I realize that many heterosexual men have always thought of a homosexual male as a man that is a half-woman (a girly man). And what possibly could be lower than a real woman (that damned vessel of unholiness) other than a “fake woman”? Add to that the fact that I am an artist, one who is also a feminist. I feel that the ability for women to achieve a balance between work and family is improving over time, just as it is with gay rights. But I feeling it is still a game that is rigged toward heterosexual white males. Courage, Gals. I learned over time to put the emphasis on the journey, not the outcome, even though we live in a society that emphasizes, “You are what you achieve.” I am here to tell you: This is the road to unhappiness. When I was teaching at Pratt Institute in the 70s, I always told my students to “be alive to the process, because the end product, however beautiful, is the doo-doo of the process.” Perhaps a bit Freudian, but for me, it was the ultimate truth.
Read more about Byrd in the Q&A he did with his former student Michael Gibbs in the Fine Artists column. And be sure to visit www.david-edward-byrd.com.
A senior editor at the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine, and creator of “Space Shuttle: The First 20 Years—The Astronauts’ Experiences in Their Own Words,” he lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his wife and three teenage daughters.
Can women have it all? Defining that concept seems one of our main tasks in life—to find out what it is we want for ourselves and, often times, for our loved ones. And those two wants may compete, or at least require tradeoffs. If you’re a thinking adult, defining “having it all” as just a higher salary or a more exalted job title seems shallow, even sad. The only reason I can think of why this is considered more of a “problem” for women than for men is that many American men—conditioned to always take the higher salary or promotion, no matter the psychic cost—are too unimaginative to consider the whole problem. Maybe women, who culturally and historically have lived more outside of the marketplace, in the world of child-rearing, see a bigger picture. A Buddhist might answer that the best way to have it all is to reduce our list of wants. To quote Bono: “What you don’t have, you don’t need it now.” Of course, I still think it’s okay to strive for a little more, for limited times or specific goals, as long as the striving doesn’t ruin your life.
A practicing futurist, author, speaker, and innovator, Woodgate is president of The Futures Lab, a futures-based consultancy based in Atlanta, with six satellite offices around the world. The Futures Lab specializes in creating future potential for major corporations and institutions, especially in the fields of entertainment, media, culture, and new communities.
Can women have it all? Having it all is a personal, subjective concept that in my thinking is much more than professional achievement or family management and development. It ultimately resonates in personal fulfillment, even self-extension, by taking ourselves to levels we never would have anticipated. I regularly ask myself what the 10 most exciting, memorable, fulfilling moments are in my life. My answers help determine who I really am and who I want to become. I have had such an amazing, colorful, exciting, fulfilling life—some would say crazy—but despite the fact that for some people it would seem all too nomadic and intense, it has helped me maintain constant enthusiasm and a positive feeling about my own future and the future of the world. Be true to yourself and who you wish to be at every turn. Only then will you be able to understand whether or not you have it all or are en route to having it all—on your terms.
Read more about Woodgate and The Futures Lab at www.futures-lab.com.
A writer, filmmaker, and musician who hopes to tone that all down someday to become a father, Betancourt lives in DC with the love of his life.
Can women have it all? I recently read an article about a TV writer, actor, and producer who had a hand (or face) in four different television shows at once. The article began with a description of his workweek, which seemed impossibly crammed with responsibilities. He had also just become a father, and he told the interviewer that his son was his number one priority. That word—I do not think it means what you think it means. A priority is something you do instead of other things, not in addition to them. It’s something you choose over something else, because you care more about it—and because you can. In arguably the most choice-ridden society the planet has ever seen, we have this problem of choosing not to choose. We just keep piling on the tasks, the experiences, the obligations. Television, actually, can be illuminating on this question. If a child on a TV sitcom started out an episode wanting to have it all, what would the parents be telling the child by the end, as the sappy music swelled and they leaned in for a hug? That’s right. The moral of the story is you can’t have it all. But more importantly, you shouldn’t. Satisfaction in life comes from doing the most important things right, not from doing everything. Any TV writer could tell you that. I wonder what the suffragettes of a hundred years ago would say to the women running themselves ragged today, trying to have it all. If they’d ever seen a sitcom, they’d know to lean in for a hug as they whispered, “We didn’t want it all, we only wanted the choice.”
An artist and licensed art therapist, living and creating in New York City, Roizen has worked with various organizations and nonprofits facilitating individual and group sessions and workshops. She is currently the consultant art therapist at an emergency transitional shelter for homeless adults living with HIV, mental health issues, and current substance abuse.
Can women have it all? I feel that each choice we make is a culmination of who and where we were at a given moment in time. There is a humorous quote by author Byron Katie that speaks to this: “When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100 percent of the time.” So much energy can be spent agonizing over our choices and regrets, but all of that energy can be freed up for positive use when we practice self-acceptance and appreciate where we’ve come from. I encourage my art therapy clients to allow themselves to open up and enjoy the creative process and to focus on the experience of the moment rather than becoming preoccupied by the finished art piece. I believe that this art therapy advice extends into life quite beautifully, and I try to live in this mindset as much as possible. It’s easy to get caught up in our daily to-do lists and rush from one experience to another. The greatest contentment for me is when I can rest in that space between each moment and truly appreciate exactly where I am and what I am doing. I believe that self-identity and our approach to life is much more flexible than we realize at times. Pausing to be mindful of an experience is a wonderful way to tap into the creative potential of any moment.
Learn more about Roizen’s art therapy work at www.arttherapyspot.com. View her fine art website at www.sararoizen.com.
An associate planner for the Northern Virginia firm Egan, Berger & Weiner LLC, she moved recently to California with her husband, Billy, who landed his dream job at Google.
Can women have it all? I truly believe there is no greater investment in life that you can make than investing time, energy, effort, and lots of love into raising your children. Political consultant Mary Matalin’s comment, “Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and a family can make it work” has really stuck with me. Though I do not have children yet, I plan to and I am very thankful that I work in a firm where family is valued and there is some flexibility in my schedule. I am very aware that a lot of women do not have that. Without flexibility in your workplace and a great support system at home, it is very difficult for women to “have it all.” Something will always suffer, whether it is your family or your career. As a woman who has always had a deep-seated desire to be a mother, at the end of my life I do not think I will look back with regret for missing career opportunities. But I know for sure I would look back with regret if I missed out on my children’s lives due to work obligations.
Read more about Leonard at www.ebwllc.com. And check out the column written by the partners at Egan, Berger & Weiner on Retirement.
Editorial assistant at InkandescentPR.com, she is a fourth-year student at Virginia Tech, pursuing a Communications degree with a focus on Public Relations.
Can women have it all? When asked if women could have it all, I began to reflect on my own life. I have a supportive family, loyal friends, and a successful college career. At 21 years old, I’d say I am pretty lucky. But I believe the feeling of having it all reflects one’s own preferences. Focusing on a career, family, or both is completely up to the woman, and from there, the concept of having it “all” can be obtained. The bottom line to me is happiness. Regardless of gender, race, or religious beliefs, for one to truly believe they have it all, undeniable happiness needs to be achieved.
LAURA GÓMEZ GARCIA
A fourth-year college student, Garcia is pursuing a double bachelor’s degree in Administration and Business Management, and in Advertising and Public Relations, at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain. She was an intern in the summer of 2012 at InkandescentPR.com.
Can women have it all? When did this question arise? Was it when men and women’s roles were tightly defined, and women had a hard time trying to be successful at the workplace? Does it still arise now that those roles are blurred and there is supposed to be equity between the genders? Back when women faced barriers to enter business, they couldn’t have it all because they were supposed to stay at home and take care of their children, while men were the successful ones, at least in the business field. When women started defying those established rules, it became obvious that it was harder for them to follow their dreams at the workplace than for men, for even if they wanted to break the mold and go into business, that didn’t mean that men intended to break their mold and participate more in the realm of family. So why can’t women have it all? Simply because there is not enough time. Nevertheless, over the past years, equity has increased at the workplace and tight roles have faded, letting men in into tasks formerly done by women, and vice versa. But even if possibilities have broadened for both genders, some individuals remain loyal to those old stereotypes. So that makes me wonder: what exactly is “all”? Is it working and being successful? Is it being surrounded by your family and taking care of your children? Or a mix of both?