"If you had asked me that question two years ago, before my son was born, my answer would have been very different," said Caroline Dabu, vice-president and head of enterprise wealth planning with BMO Financial Group, who returned to work five months after her son's birth.
talked about the difficulties of taking maternity leave when you're in a senior management role.
"No one told me, 'You must come back before a year,'" she
"But you do put that pressure on yourself."
Having to balance the demands of parenthood with a high-stakes career, Dabu
now believes there is no such thing as work/life balance; there are always going to be trade-offs.
"'Having it all' is such an individual notion," she
"We really have to push the boundaries in terms of what 'having it all' means."
A little help, please
So what can employers do to better support women at work?
believes we need to be upfront with women and men about the impact of taking parental leave on their earnings and career trajectory.
"As senior leaders, we have to be honest with young women in terms of those trade-offs," she
explained, adding that "your career may not be a linear path."
also sees the lines blurring between personal time and work time-which can be a good thing, because it allows employees to manage their own time according to their priorities.
Technology is an enabler of this flexibility, noted Charyl Galpin, co-head, executive vice-president and managing director with BMO Nesbitt Burns
, who calls it "both a blessing and a curse".
While the use of mobile technology may mean that employees have to be available outside of regular work hours, "the beauty of it is, it provides you with flexibility," she