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Fortune 500 CEO: ‘Work-life steadiness is a lie’



“Work-life steadiness is a lie,” mentioned TIAA president and CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett at Fortune’s Most Highly effective Girls’s Summit on Tuesday.

When she tried reaching a extra balanced life-style, Duckett mentioned, “It by no means reconciled. … That ‘S’ on the chest wasn’t for ‘Superwoman.’ It was for ‘Spent.’

So as a substitute, Duckett, who oversees greater than $1 trillion of belongings beneath administration at TIAA, tried to stay her life extra like a well-diversified portfolio.

Here is what she meant: Take account of all of the roles you play that matter most (e.g., worker, partner, mum or dad, sister, daughter, good friend, and so on.) after which divvy up your time throughout every, she prompt.

She reminded her fellow high-powered colleagues in attendance that nobody has greater than 100% of themselves to provide, so allocations will differ in keeping with want at completely different instances in your life.

“Identical to the inventory market, it is going to have its volatility. So that you give your self permission to recalibrate.As a mother, my kids do not get 100%, they get perhaps 30%,” Duckett mentioned. However, she added, when her youngsters want it, that share goes up.

And as with a diversified portfolio, do not count on to outperform in each one in all your investments day-after-day. The objective is to “outperform this factor referred to as life” over time, she mentioned.

“In any given minute, I might not be one of the best mother. However over time, I am a extremely good mom. On any given day, I could not really feel like I’m working at my finest as a CEO. However over time, I feel I am a fairly good chief.”

Duckett took the helm at TIAA this previous spring. At present, she is only one of two Black girls operating a Fortune 500 firm and the fourth ever to take action. She is also ranked 10th on Fortune’s 2021 Most Highly effective Girls record.

Throughout her session at Tuesday’s summit, she pressured that she and others with influential platforms must preserve urgent for higher illustration of girls and minorities each on boards and within the C-suite.



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