WDYDWYD?Why do you do what you do?
I was often encouraged to do great things with my career: be a CEO, a leader in my field.
And that was my goal.
But rarely did people discuss that along the road, I might want to have children and spend quality time with them as a volunteer at their school, soccer coach, or their tour guide at the zoo on a sunny Friday.
More importantly, no one said "and that would be great."
Many of us experience a moment that causes us to change course. Mine was at midnight, frantically working on a presentation in my windowless home office. My daughter was nine months old. My husband came in the room to check on me and say goodnight, and I burst into tears. I was stretched too thin with no end in sight.
I left the consulting world, planning to take a year off. While I was enjoying time with my daughter, I quickly realized that I was unfulfilled. I had checked a big part of me at the door, and knew that many other women were doing the same.
From that realization, Canopy Advisory Group was born: a portfolio of professionals with big-firm training who deliberately choose to use their skills on a project basis. Our model may provide a short stint away from corporate life or a long-term career choice. Regardless, I hope the Canopy model empowers women with the knowledge that fulfilling their many life roles is never a “less-than” career choice, and the strongest leaders emerge when they forge the path that is right for them.
— Brooke Borgen
Photography by Trevor Brown
Bain & Company; Canopy Advisory Group
Tony Deifell (MBA 2002) created WDYDWYD?, a social media meme of people answering the simple question, “why do you do what you do?” by combining an image and text. To honor the 50th anniversary of women students at HBS, the Women’s Student Association Alumni Team (Annie Wheeler, MBA 2013; Danielle Slutzky, MBA 2013; and Tara Hagan, MBA 2014) partnered with Tony and asked alumnae to answer the question, “why do you do what you do?”
Harvard Business SchoolDillon HouseSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163