Conflicts between advancing in business and maintaining a family life can be overcome with the right tactics, women executives said at a business breakfast panel sponsored by HIA-LI on Friday.
“The things I don’t want to do, I outsource,” said Judith Heller, assistant vice president of physician recruitment at Northwell Health. “Give yourself permission not to do the things you don’t want to do . . . Find a service that will do your laundry for you.”
Speaking at the Hyatt Regency Long Island in Hauppauge, Heller said that although she is willing to cook, “people don’t want to eat my food.”
Fresh Direct, the grocery delivery service known for its prepared foods, “will save your life,” she said.
Another panelist, Christine Malafi, a partner at the Ronkonkoma law firm Campolo, Middleton & McCormick LLP, acknowledged there are times when she serves a family meal “and we look at each other and say, ‘We’re going out.’ ”
In a similar vein, Karen Davis-Farage, president and co-owner of the Pole Position indoor electric go-kart tracks in Farmingdale, Jersey City and elsewhere, said that her children understood that she would not be coming to all of their events.
Davis-Farage said she hired nannies who shared her “core values” and she ceded parental authority when she was absent for business. When a school called because one of her children had hit pupils at school, she told the educators that her nanny was “the mother during the week while I’m at work.”
Beyond family issues, Christine Riordan, the president of Adelphi University, said that women need to overcome their fears and learn to take risks.
“You have to face what you’re afraid of” by gaining skills and crafting strategies, she said. “Women are more afraid to put themselves out there than men are.”
Riding the inevitable career dips also may require women to “be able to rebound and do it gracefully.”
But in the end, Riordan said, “success comes in many, many forms, particularly for women.”