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Adweek: Stephanie Nadi Olson featured as a Women Trailblazer – 6 Ways to Conquer the Work-Life Integration Game

by | May 11, 2021

Collage of Adweek's Women Trailblazers

Originally posted on Adweek by Luz Corona, May 10, 2021.


After quite a tumultuous year, the question of whether one can sustain a healthy work-life integration has become more critical than ever before. Is it possible to lead a successful, thriving career and maintain a happy home life or are we just doomed to have regrets over the missed soccer games and recitals?

We asked leading, powerful women in the industry: how do you view work-life integration, especially now, and what advice can you share with others who may be struggling with it? Their responses were raw, honest, and insightful–read on to find out more.

Love What You Do

“I believe in leaning into whatever is giving you energy and inspiration. Sometimes that may be work, and sometimes it may be family/personal interests. In deciding between the two, you have to be brutally honest with yourself about what you need. If you can do that, you’ll find a way to be the best version of yourself, which benefits every facet of your life, whether work or personal.” Evelyn Rusli, Co-Founder, President, and CMO, Yumi

“DISCLAIMER: I love working. I love building a business with every fiber of me. It is the fullest expression of me at this moment in my life. So, it’s really a matter of integrating the two things I care the most about in this world: my family and my work. What has helped is listening to myself instead of everyone else out there telling me what my work and personal life should or shouldn’t look like.” Stephanie Nadi Olson, Founder and CEO, We Are Rosie

“Work-life integration has always been a struggle for me. I raise my daughter alone and I have to be 100% focused every day with her and 100% focused at work. Over the years, work and life have merged completely together for me. My co-workers have become friends and family and I only work for companies where I absolutely love the product and core values.” Kristin Patrick, CMO and President, Eros Innovations

Give Yourself Grace

“Giving myself the grace to feel overwhelmed some days, to know when to put some projects down and work on a remote school science project with my daughter, and when to grab a glass of wine, play some R&B in my headphones at 10 pm and tackle a tough work deliverable. This tumultuous year reinforced my belief in the power of being clear, committed, and consistent in the work that we are dedicated to.” God-is Rivera, Global Director of Culture and Community, Twitter

“With the continued and intense impact of COVID-19, the concept of work-life integration has been pulled apart and pieced back together to reflect a very different reality. Kids coming in and out of the screen or dogs barking in the background–that’s all part of what makes us human. My one piece of advice is to give yourself grace. For now, whatever you can get done in a day is perfect and you can conquer anything un-checked on the to-do list at another point in time.” Magda Yrizarry, Chief Diversity Officer, Verizon

Ask for Help

“The principle of putting the mask on first (like they say on airplanes) is an important one that allows us to be more helpful to others while also making sure we are not burning ourselves out in the process. Another important lesson is to ask for help. Asking someone to help you is not a weakness–it builds bridges, it connects, and ultimately it borrows from others’ experiences, which helps you.” Patricia Corsi, Global Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, Bayer

“Each day is unique and each day you will post many wins and fail as well–but remember you always have the next day and it is a clean start. Don’t overly apologize or feel embarrassed if you need help. This is a very hard time for many people worldwide and compassion is key. There are always solutions–sometimes you just have to be super creative about what they are.” Emily Culp, Former CEO, Cover FX


Be Transparent

“Everyone’s lives are different right now. Life comes first and it’s important to take care of yourself and those who need you. And it’s important that your team and your boss understand what your particular situation is. For me personally, as long as you get your job done, the hours are unimportant. Delivering is.” Gail Tifford, Chief Brand Officer, WW

“One effective way that I’ve managed to strike a balance is to drive true empathy with both my at-home and at-work constituents. It takes a lot more transparency than many of us are used to: you must let both sides see each other, and you must be willing to show up as the same authentic person in both contexts.” Kate Johnson, President, Microsoft US

Pencil In Boundaries

“You need to set a schedule. When you run your own business, there is literally something that you could be doing for that business 24 hours a day! It is important to set boundaries, so your health does not suffer. I like to set time limits for myself and stop work at a certain time, so I can enjoy the rest of my day and unwind.” Merian Odesho, Founder, Bounce Curl

“I rely on four things to help me to find a degree of harmony: being really clear about my priorities, taking time on Sunday to map out a plan for the week, scheduling time for myself (versus taking a ‘catch as catch can’ approach to me time), and going with the flow when the universe throws the inevitable curveball.” Laurel Richie, Former President, WNBA

Replace Pressure with Understanding

“Someone once told me that you can truly have it all, just not all at the same time. Understanding that has released a lot of pressure–it means understanding that in each stage of your life, different aspects will have different levels of importance, and that’s OK. There will other times when that mix is different.” Arancha Cordero, Chief Growth Officer, Danone Waters

“Remind yourself that your business card is not a full reflection of who you are or what your full impact in life can be. While delivering successful outcomes for your business is a key element to professional success, if it becomes all-consuming, one often sees diminishing returns overtime. Make sure to find–and protect–the space you need to explore and engage different interests and pursuits.” Johanna Faries, VP and Head of Leagues, Activision Blizzard Esports