Work Life Balance- a ‘Radical’ Decision?

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Max Shireson is the CEO of a top Silicon Valley software company. He received considerable media attention last week, after blogging about his ‘radical’ decision to opt for increased work/life balance, leaving his high-power role.

Despite his success in the world of work, the man was dissatisfied at the extent to which his position required him to take a step back from family commitments, and spending time with his three children.
“Right now, I choose to spend more time with my family and am confident that I can continue to have a meaningful and rewarding work life while doing so,”

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Image via Business Insider

It is reasonable to question why has this case received so much attention, as a newsworthy story? Max Shireson is not the only man to have ever expressed a desire to spend more time with his family. More and more men are seeking jobs flexible enough to enable them to successfully juggle their work with family life. However, it’s rare to see the CEO of a high-profile company prioritising family over work:

“As a male CEO, I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a CEO”.

Max Shireson’s story is important, in that it will help to further smash taboos surrounding traditional gender roles, proving that a man’s decision to opt for work/life balance and family commitments is every bit as valid as a woman’s. It will take time to change long-held notions, but gradual change often occurs from the top down, meaning that Shireson’s story may inspire an entire generation of men to rethink the way they work.

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