First Lady Michelle Obama On Work-Life Balance

First Lady Michelle Obama On Work-Life Balance

White House Summit on Working Families

At the White House Working Families Summit, Robin Roberts sat down with First Lady Michelle Obama to discuss women in the workplace, the impact of work-family balance, and what can be done to move the issue of work-life balance forward.

First Lady Obama begins the discussion by expressing the need for women to be more active at the higher levels and positions in business and the need for workers to make demands.

Mrs. Obama then recalled her days as a (often) single mother while Barack Obama was in the Illinois state senate and later in Washington DC and she began working at the University of Chicago Hospital.  She expresses the difficulty they experienced with regards to childcare and feeling overwhelmed by taking on too much.

The First Lady also shares how she wanted to quit but ultimately found her way.

Check out these takeaways and watch the interview below.

Know your value and what you bring to the table.

Part-time work isn’t always better.

First Lady Obama says she was gypped when she worked a professional job part-time because she continued to do full-time work but only received part-time compensation.  She says we should seek to be paid appropriately for the work we do.

Be clear about what you need from your employers.

Employees have to take on the issue of work-life balance with their employers.

Michelle Obama urged younger generations to take up the cause and demand employers to value their work-life balance and family needs.  She says the numbers are on the side of this issue, but pressure needs to be applied to employers and elected officials, citing that the US is behind (internationally) when it comes to paid leave and vacation.

It’s not just about employee satisfaction but about a company’s bottom line.

Employers have to value the work-life balance of their employees, and be flexible.

FL Obama says she felt indebted to the University of Chicago Hospital because of how much they valued her and her family.  She says she worked her “tail off” because of how much she appreciated the flexibility they offered.

It’s not just a women’s issue.

It has to be a total family effort.

Mrs. Obama shares her and Pres. Obama’s early experiences sharing parenting responsibilities and how important it was for her in terms of support and how it has impacted his relationship with their daughters.  She says his efforts gave her time to rest but also gave her peace of mind while allowing him to create a bond with their daughters that she still sees.

The discussion begins around the 4:00 mark.  Watch Robin Roberts and Michelle Obama discuss work-life balance and what we can do to move the issue forward.


Oceal Ross

Oceal Ross

Editor-In-Chief at Urbyn Loft
I’m just a small-town girl with astronomical dreams, trying to live the life my grandmother couldn’t. I love nerd things, Vegetarian food, and ambition. I mostly write about culture, music, and ways to help professionals increase productivity and achieve their work-life balance.
Oceal Ross