Our Experts

Role Model

Ingrid Cole

“For me, work-life balance is the opportunity to personally achieve in my career balanced with the need to truly enjoy and experience my family and children.”


Business Unit: Adhesives Technologies
Division: Industrial Adhesives
Job title: Vice President Technical Customer Service

Question 1

What’s your personal definition of work-life balance?

I believe work-life balance is a very personal assessment of what you want to achieve as a professional, balanced with the other priorities in your life. It is not a perception of what others believe you should do, but is about understanding what is important to you to achieve happiness in your work and personal life. For me, it is the opportunity to personally achieve in my career balanced with the need to truly enjoy and experience my family and children.

Question 2

Did you consciously choose a certain life balance?

In my view, work-life balance is unique for every individual. I also believe that it changes throughout your life and career. It is something you should re-evaluate periodically and make conscious decisions on what works for you as an individual. When I started my family I had the opportunity to work part-time, which was the right balance for me as a mom. It allowed me to spend time with my kids yet still have the ability to personally contribute in the work world.

Question 3

Was a healthy work-life balance a criterion in deciding on a specific employer?

I would not be at Henkel If it were not for my manager and the opportunity for flexible work arrangements. They allowed me take the time to focus on my family while still growing my career and contributing to the organization. I was able to achieve a healthy balance between my professional desire to achieve and contribute at work with my family priorities. It is important for an organization to offer work-life-balance programs. It is equally important to create a culture that embraces and believes this is essential to the organization, a culture that recognizes that this balance can change in the course of an individual’s career and accepts that there may be moments when very valuable people need a stronger focus on their personal priorities. I feel privileged to have had the flexible work arrangements, but also for the organization’s recognition that when I returned to fulltime work I could be given high priority projects and opportunities for advancement.

Question 4

What positive effects does your personal work-life approach have?

I think that I am a much more balanced and happier person both at work and in my personal life. I am not as stressed and project a more positive attitude at home and at work. I have clear priorities and am much more efficient and focused on things I need to do. I am a better manager and encourage people to define their own work-life balance.

Comment it