Education and Solidarity Network

Collaborative workshop at the EI women’s conference – It is all a question of balance

Romain Chave
May 11, 2018

As part of the 3rd EI World women’s conference, which took place from 5 to 7 February in Marrakech (Morocco), the ESN facilitated a workshop using a Fishbowl method on the theme “work-life balance” with around twenty participants, who were union leader representatives from around the world.

The participants were asked to think about what the concept of a work-life balance meant to them, both as a woman and as a leader, to identify the difficulties encountered and their effects on health and wellbeing and to reflect together on strategies to adopt in order to make work and personal life compatible.

The Fishbowl method gave rise to valuable and constructive discussions between the various participants who did not hesitate to share their personal experiences. It emerged that the concept of balance is above all subjective. The first difficulties mentioned were of a family but also of a cultural and structural nature.

Several strategies were mentioned, among which:

  • on an individual level: know how to prioritise, take care of yourself, to let go of the feeling of guilt, surround yourself with reliable people, etc.;
  • on a group level: conduct awareness and training campaigns, review the internal organisation of unions which sometimes accept working methods that would never be tolerated by employers, etc.

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