YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki may be the exception rather than the rule. During a time when smartphones allow high level employees to always be working, Wojcicki makes sure her seat at the family dinner table is filled every night. Now pregnant at age 46 with her fifth child, Wojcicki appears to have mastered the whole balancing act of having a successful career and running a big family.
Today recently reported about her journey up the ranks of Google and the family she has raised while seeing the company go from small potatoes to a huge multi-billion dollar success story. Just 16 years ago Wojcicki and her husband happened to rent out their garage to two computer scientists, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Little did she know her new tenants would later go on to found Google and she would become their 16th employee, accepting the job offer while 4 months pregnant with her first baby.
Fast forward to today and Wojcicki is now the CEO of YouTube and a soon-to-be mom of 5. She has looked at her career as being a great benefit to both her kids and herself and somehow make it home for dinner. She explains, “I try, because I found that if I'm home for dinner, I can get the scoop from my kids on the day. After my kids go to bed, I check email. It's about having that balance.”
Wojcicki doesn’t want you to think having a hugely successful career and a large family is easy or that she doesn’t make mistakes, but she does feel greatly enriched by both aspects of her life. She says, “I want people to realize that it really is OK, that you can have a family. I don't feel like I'm a perfect mom, and then there are times at work where I feel like maybe I wasn't perfect here because of constraints on my time. But having the sum of both of those things going on in my life makes me a better mom at the end of the day, and I think gives me really important perspectives in the workplace as well.”
It may also help that her company has pretty sweet maternity leave perks, allowing new moms a full 18 weeks of paid leave. Wojcicki isn’t sure how long she will be taking for maternity leave yet and wants to leave her options open just in case. Early on, with each pregnancy she admits people expected she would bow out of her career. She explains, “I won't say it was easy, but I decided I'd make it work because I really believed in Google's potential. When you're a junior-level woman and get pregnant, people always ask if you'll quit. But no one asks me that now.”
What do you think of Wojcicki’s success story?
Do you think other women wishing to have a successful career and raise a family can be inspired by her story?