“Do not sacrifice what is important to you”

By: Maha Shawky

To Whom It May Concern:

As a woman, you already know about the importance of work-life balance. It surely makes sense to you that workforce flexibility would be an essential accommodation for mothers and caretakers, and that the best companies today would share the goal of achieving a work-life balance that is right for everyone. As a woman myself who comes from the Middle East, I’d like to share my appreciation for those companies that fight for work-life balance, as it truly has helped me pursue my aspirations in both my professional and personal life. I also would like to share my appreciation for you, a woman who fights for both her family and her career. I encourage you to keep fighting.

I can speak only from experience, and my experience at MetLife shows me how leadership teams here put a lot of effort into keeping employees happy, motivated, and productive. At MetLife, I see that employees are heard, and meaningful actions are taken based on our feedback. This leads to more employee engagement that has a positive impact on job satisfaction. I can only hope that every woman has the opportunity to work at a company that keeps its employees’ well-being top of mind.   

When a company takes care of its female workforce, it’s not only the woman’s quality of life that improves, but also the community from where she comes. Women face many constraints as they choose how to balance work and family, and often we feel we must prioritize one over the other. Being a working mom, I know exactly how it feels to choose between proving yourself as a good employee and proving yourself as a good mother, wife, and daughter. However, if you feel safe in your work environment – if you feel that it provides you with all the support you need to succeed in your career – you do not have to make a choice between your homelife and your professional trajectory. Take it from me: I hold a leadership position in a male-dominating country. But also note: I would not have this career without the support I receive from MetLife. 

To women who are working towards a meaningful career, I recommend being selective. Choose a company that nurtures a positive state of mind among its employees by assuring them their careers will not be affected by their decisions to be a mother or caretaker. Look for resources such as employee assistance programs, family leave policies, and childcare options. Seek out those companies who are giving equal development opportunities, offering flexible working hours, remote working, long leaves when required, and other benefits that enable women to manage both their personal and professional lives.

Above all, do not sacrifice what is important to you.   

Kind regards,
Maha Shawky

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