A guest blog from Maggie Berry, managing director of WomeninTechnology.co.uk.
Why are women regularly asked how they manage to balance their professional and private lives? When a man applies for promotion, he doesn’t get quizzed about his private life so why should a female be? And a recent article in the Financial Times discusses this very subject.
Some women, like Dragons Den star Deborah Meaden, do not want to reveal information about their personal lives. Rebecca Harding, on the other hand, has no problem talking about her personal experiences. The chief executive of Delta Economics says that other women frequently ask her about her domestic situation and she is happy to answer them. Her view is that personal experiences help to mould an individual and people have a right to be curious.
Heather Jackson, the chief executive of An Inspirational Journey, believes that until more women like Ms Harding open up about their personal lives, we’ll continue to see few women executives.
Ms Jackson wants more women to become role models and talk honestly about how they balance their lives. Despite being a single mother with two children, she managed to start up what has now grown into a successful organisation.
She said a lot of women worry that they’ll be judged on things concerning their professional life, but personality and chemistry are as important as skills when it comes to your professional identity.
Women can use questions about their personal life to their advantage as long as they realise that the interviewer may be subconsciously questioning their ability to do the role, she added.
Do you get offended when you’re questioned about your personal life or are you more than happy to show the world how well you balance your professional and family life? And in your experience can opening up be detrimental to your career prospects or help propel you up the ladder?