WDYDWYD?Why do you do what you do?
Telling your coworkers that you need to miss the client meeting to handle your daughter’s case of lice is risky.
"This is unfair to those of us who don’t have kids!"
"Can she really handle this promotion?"
Or imagine if you let your nanny handle the lice situation.
"I wonder how she feels about someone else raising her kids."
"Why did she bother to have kids if she’s never going to see them!"
I have downplayed the seriousness of my career to avoid the (sometimes imagined) judgment of teachers, doctors, and stay-at-home moms. I have feigned illness to attend ballet recitals and locked myself in the closet to avoid the background noise of children while on conference calls.
I don’t do it anymore.
I run a branding agency in a New York City, and my children are 5 and 7. I started my own company above all for the freedom it allows me – to be a creative professional and to be the kind of mother I want to be.
I miss work to take my children to the doctor. I take client calls while at the playground. I want to send a message - parenting v. professionalism is not a zero-sum game.
— Susan Hamilton
Photography by Tim Leavitt
New York, NY
Boston Consulting Group; S'mavens; sh.brand
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