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Mother, Daughter Share Insights On Two Generations In IT

Gina Narcisi

At the Women of the Channel West Leadership Summit 2021, Aruba Networks’ Channel Chief Donna Grothjan and her daughter, Katie Grothjan, digital marketing manager for solution provider giant Ingram Micro, shared their experiences as women of two generations in IT.

Do you feel like you’ve been able to achieve a work/life balance?

Donna: I think a lot of us ask the question: “What is work life balance?” And I think to be honest for me, it’s always been: “I don’t have work life balance.” I make a decision at the moment. Today, in that moment, I’m going to work, or today, I’m going to do something for myself, or do something for my kids. For me personally, work/life balance has always been about choices. I think that’s one of the challenges and I’ll share that a lot of times there’s somebody at home that is probably taking care of the day-to-day business. My husband is a pilot. he travels, I travel. So, for us, in terms of how we managed it with our kids when they were young and still to this day, is we don’t have any set rules at home. It’s not my job to do this, or his job to do that. If there’s dirty dishes in the sink, somebody just does the dishes. I think work/life balance comes from an acknowledgement that you can’t do it all and making those choices. I would say is I have balance for the moment.

Katie: I know my mom was stressed about having traveled for so much of my life growing up. But I honestly am grateful for it, because I think it’s had a huge influence on the independent person that I became today. I think my brother and I both have developed a figure-it-out, problem-solving personality. I studied abroad in Madrid, and having my mom travel all the time maybe me want to be globally competent. So, whenever you’re in a country where you don’t speak the same language of everyone, and the menu looks different, or you’ve never taken public transportation before, I wanted to be that person figured out what metro line to take. It’s just little things here and there that I’ve noticed in myself that probably come from having such an independent woman for mother, [which] definitely influenced me and my brother to both be independent people.

 
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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