Balancing Work and Home

By Olivia Vollmers

As an American woman, the constant decision we have to face as we grow up and decide our career path is whether to be more home or work oriented. We are programmed to believe the two don’t mix. You either stay home and are an effective, caring, mother and wife, or you are a successful business woman that spends the majority of her time in the office.

Interviewing Kelly McAdoo changed that perspective entirely for me. She made it very clear that yes, you have good weeks and bad weeks as a mom or in the office. She is a single mother with an 11-year-old daughter, as well as the city manager and CEO of the city of Hayward, California. She realizes that although it is hard, it is possible to succeed at both. Some weeks you stay in the office too long, some weeks you go in late because you are baking cupcakes for school, but you have to pick and choose when you decide to excel at one or the other. It’s a balancing act to try to make everyone satisfied. She made it very clear to me though, that choosing her career over being a stay at home mom was one of the best decisions she’s ever made. She left home, moved to California, and never looked back.

Making it to the top of her field wasn’t a walk in the park though. Sacrifice and determination were huge factors in getting her to where she is. Being in a “mayoral” position for her city, she takes the role home with her as a parent. Having her first two city managers being women, she felt very fortunate in the sense that there was not a glass ceiling as she moved her way up the management chain. As only 13% of management heads are women worldwide, she feels there is a problem, but felt fortunate that it wasn’t a huge problem for her. As she works in local government, it is much more traditional and a lot of times, there are city councils who are not trained in PR and will automatically default to highly experienced males to represent the council members. In the Bay Area, it seems as though there is a lot more openness in this field.

As for dedication, Kelly believes that it is never too hard. You can always do it and push through to get things done no matter your situation. You make it work. Yes, it is a lot of work, but if you are passionate about your family and passionate about the career you want to have, you make it work. You just do it.

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