How to Make Work-Life Balance a Reality: Panel Discussion

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L to R: Kristen Bellstrom, Susie Orman Schnall, Chris Riback, Peggy Davenport, Jennifer Allyn

It’s a timeless — and challenging — question: How can any of us make work-life balance a reality?

On June 23, a panel of women professionals representing a range of viewpoints, experiences and backgrounds addressed the question before more than 100 guests in midtown Manhattan. Inspired by Susie Orman Schnall’s new novel, The Balance Project, the group addressed the challenges and rewards of finding a lasting work-life balance, despite demanding professional careers. The event was sponsored by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, Debevoise & Plimpton, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Even a quick glance at recent headlines proves the issues, obstacles, challenges, hopes and dreams remain very current. So the conversation focused on the practical:

  • Is work-life balance an illusion? What does it actually mean?
  • Why haven’t we solved for it yet?
  • Whose responsibility is it to solve? What’s the role of the institution and the individual? Where does the buck stop?
  • Most importantly: What are tangible, actionable tips? What can has our panel seen or done that we can apply to our own lives?

The panel included:

  • Jennifer Allyn, Managing Director in the Office of Diversity for the US Firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Kristen Bellstrom, senior editor at Fortune and the author of The Broadsheet, the daily newsletter for Fortune’s Most Powerful Women franchise
  • Peggy Davenport, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, Co-Chair of Debevoise’s Corporate Department and former Co-Chair of the Private Equity Group
  • Susie Orman Schnall, author of two novels: On Grace and The Balance Project, as well as The Balance Project, a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about work/life balance.
  • An introduction was offered by Jillian Griffiths, Chief Operating Officer, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, and closing thoughts came from Terrianne Patnode, Counsel, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

Highlights from the discussion can be seen here:

The full panel discussion can be seen here: