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January 27, 2023

PwC’s Bob Moritz on Why You Shouldn’t Miss Your Kid’s Birthday Party for Work

A Fortune feature just declared what we already know: The work-life balance movement for men is coming.

A Fortune feature just declared what we already know: The work-life balance movement for men is coming.

In its example, it uses none other than PwC's fearless leader:

Several years before becoming chairman and senior partner of accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bob Moritz had an important career decision to make. While going through marriage counseling with his wife and juggling two kids at home, Moritz was given the opportunity to take on a new role with more responsibility at the company. The new position would require more travel and more long nights out, which would have meant more time away from his family.

Moritz declined the job, deciding instead to prioritize his struggling marriage and children. Now, a single dad managing two kids in college while pursuing a long-distance relationship, Moritz is joining a growing number of male executives who are willing to talk about  the traditionally portrayed "female issue" of "work-life balance."

Wait… so BoMo tried to save his marriage, couldn't, and now he's got the role with the most responsibility at the company? Just want to make sure I'm reading that correctly.

Worse, BoMo tells the tale of one busy bee who was so caught up in his important work at PwC, he completely missed his kid's birthday. Listen, guy, your kid will have dozens of birthdays in a lifetime but this spreadsheet? This spreadsheet right here could change the world!

Moritz says that too often the "male ego" gets in the way of men wanting to acknowledge the issue. He admits that he felt terrible when he discovered that a colleague recently missed his daughter's birthday because he was in the office working all night. But after digging a bit deeper, Moritz found out the colleague didn't even tell anyone that it was his little girl's big day. 

"I don't know what is in someone's head," says Moritz. "But I see two issues: How do you get him comfortable enough to share that, and how do you get the team sensitive enough to get him comfortable enough and create an environment without even having to ask?"

Here's a crazy thought: maybe the guy hates his in-laws and chose to stay in the office all night over suffering through one more awkward Chuck E. Cheese pizza party. Did ya puzzle that one out, BoMo? It's entirely possible, even with a strong tone at the top, that some people will prefer holing up in the office (all night, really?) over lots of non-work activities, such as spending time with a "loved" one or participating in your kid's important life events.

Besides, what does working at night have to do with missing your kid's birthday party? Aren't kid parties usually on Sunday afternoons? I'm telling you, we're totally missing a big part of the story here.

Anyhoo. Dudes. Work life. BoMo. You got it.

 

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