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Integrating work

The dynamics of working women are complex

and finding the right balance between a rewarding career and a meaningful personal life takes much juggling.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of PsychWell, Dr Matthews Katjene, it is very challenging for working women to balance their careers with family,

social and occupational roles and responsibilities, with or without support.

Katjene leads a team of clinical and industrial psychologists at PsychWell, a 100 percent blackowned firm in Pretoria.

Working women are expected to fulfil multiple roles and still lead a rewarding life, he said.

While some women thrive under this pressure, others are daunted by it, he added.

Apart from doing a solid day’s work, working women are often expected to don multiple hats.

They must juggle raising and educating children, managing their marriage or romantic relationship and helping solve family problems – in both their immediate and extended families.

They must also make time for social interaction with friends, neighbours and peers; address occupational difficulties such as their work environment or colleagues and tackle general existential issues. Katjene explained that women may face different challenges during their various life stages.

“Younger women are more likely to experience more challenges than older women who might have already passed through some of those challenges and now face a different set of problems.”

Time for refl ection To help strike a balance between their personal life and work and achieve a sense of well-being, Katjene suggested women take some time for introspection.

 He said a fundamental shift is needed in the mindset of working women. Instead of imagining work and personal life on opposing sides of a scale and trying to balance the two, women should instead make it their business to integrate them.

 In other words, the aim of work-life balance should be replaced with work-life integration.

According to Katjene, there will always be multiple demands which will require a woman’s attention.

Critical analysis is needed to guide women in determining what is most deserving of their energy.

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