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Equality in Work and Life – International Women’s Day 2020

4th Mar, 2020

Work Life Balance – NO! – Annette Nabavi, Non-Executive Director

I hate this expression: Work-Life Balance. I dislike the way it sets the two against each other. And I particularly dislike the suggestion that these two things are somehow separate, and by implication one is better than the other.

I view this from a totally different perspective. I see life as the thing I engage in 24 hours a day, awake or asleep, inside or outside. To me, life is an ever-changing kaleidoscope of interesting (and sometimes less interesting) activities. Yes, the work element of this landscape is one that involves obligations, but so are many of the other elements. Some days one activity takes more time, other days another will take precedence, and there is nothing wrong with this. If your work dominates today, then it is key to involve experiences and goals which are fulfilling and enjoyable.

You’re probably wondering how to do this – in my experience, the trick is to find these experiences yourself. I try to visualise work as more than just an essential part of my day but as one of the many ways in which my day is filled and fulfilled. It is a learning experience, a social experience and sometimes a challenge; but it is part of life, not opposed to it.

I am not interested in Work Life Balance – just in having an interesting life with as many experiences as possible. Work can, and does, provide a great deal of this. For some, work is the best part of their daily mix of activities. And technology is also a fantastic enabler; it allows us to use those corners of time which otherwise might have lain dusty and un-used, in so many different ways. We can engage in social media with our friends from anywhere, share photos, respond to work colleagues and undertake work related activities whenever and wherever.

So, my advice is this: find your own way to ensure that each day is as fulfilling as possible so that you can get the most out of each and every activity. Don’t view one activity as a barrier to another but see them all as part of the rich tapestry of life.

My last thought – and this is important! – another activity which makes up life, and something for which we must all find the time, is doing nothing at all.

Have fun on International Women’s Day.


Annette Nabavi

Independent Non-Executive Director

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