As Black Enterprise highlighted the Most Powerful Women in Business this year, there was a lot of talk about the work that each of these esteemed women do to improve and advance their respective companies. But, we wondered, what are they doing to improve themselves and achieve personal growth when they’re not on the clock building a strategy for brand development, running the legal office of large corporations, or overseeing talent acquisitions, retention, and leadership development?
We decided to ask a few of the women on the list and found that from family time to reading, to fitness routines and sleep, they fiercely pursue work-life balance by prioritizing activities that allow them to wind down, relax, and refuel.
They’re not afraid to transfer the bold, boss moves they make professionally over to their personal lives by practicing routines that ensure self-care and self-improvement—and they’re unapologetic about it.
Corlis D. Murray, SVP, Quality Assurance, Regulatory and Engineering Services, Abbott
(Corlis D. Murray, one of Black Enterprise’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.” Photo credit: Abbott)
“Spending time with family is my foundation. It is invigorating to watch my grandchildren participate in their school and extracurricular activities.
For good health, my preferred activity is walking. I also use walking as a way to break up a challenging day.
Lastly, supporting the development of young talent has an energy that is contagious. I am sometimes able to power down by spending time with our high school STEM interns, a program I started five years ago. Talking to them is, frankly, inspiring. It helps refuel me if I’m feeling like I need a little extra ‘power.'”
What she gets most out of it: “The one thing I get out of my personal “power down” is energy. It serves as a means to enable me to start all over again the next day. It clears the mind to focus on things larger than myself and gives me the strength to do so.”
Why she thinks it’s important that professional women make it a priority to wind down and take some time out: “Women, on average, wear many hats. It’s important to take care of yourself to help you to be better for others. Energy is needed to tackle all that we face on a daily basis. Professional women must be strategic-minded, skilled in their profession, and possess the ability to consistently deliver with excellence. At the same time, the same qualities apply for the personal side.”
Cindy Augustine, Global Chief Talent Officer, FCB
(Cindy Augustine, one of Black Enterprise’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.” Photo credit: FCB)
“Sleep is the most important thing to me. I didn’t always make it a priority, but now I recognize that it’s more important than anything else. Next is meditation. This quieting of the mind—it doesn’t need to take a lot of time, but it does wonders in terms of restoring my mental and spiritual well-being.
Then, some sort of physical activity. I did Zumba with my daughter when she did it. It was a way to spend time with my daughter (primary reason) and have fun while staying in shape. When she’s not around (and not doing Zumba), nothing beats a runner’s high for me.”
What she gets most out of it: “I get more energy and ideas when I exercise. Also, l feel less stressed, more in control and happier.”
Deirdre Guice Minor, Managing Director, Client Advisor, UBS Asset Management
(Deirdre Guice Minor, one of Black Enterprise’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.” Photo Credit: UBS Asset Management)
“Outside of spending time with my husband and three children, Lindsey, Maximilian, and Marshall, I also train and compete in triathlons. I’ve been a runner most of my life but started doing tri’s three years ago. I’m an adviser and member of Team TRIumph, a women’s triathlon group in New Jersey.
People often ask how I fit my training into my already busy day. Schedule permitting, I try to work out 4-5 days a week, whether it involves running with team members in the morning, working out with my trainer, cross training, spinning, yoga, swimming or stretching in the gym in the afternoons. I schedule my workouts like I do any other meeting and activity, by making them work with my schedule.”
What made her get into this activity: “My friend, Ironwoman Patricia Canning, mentioned a desire to start a women’s triathlon group as we were training for a half marathon in 2014. I’ve been hooked ever since, not only for the fitness and health aspect but also because of the friendships I’ve developed with this dynamic and diverse group of women. We now have more than 50 members and growing.”
What she gets most out of it: “One of the aspects I’m most proud of is setting a positive example for my children. It’s also a great way to de-stress and helps me prioritize sleep. I think women do so much for others, for our spouse, kids, work, but this is the one thing that I do just for me.”