Business Irish

Wednesday 17 September 2014

The Punt - Family v corporate life a decision for all

Published 09/08/2014 | 02:30

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Men struggle with work-family balance too
Men struggle with work-family balance too

Rightly or wrongly, a common question 
 often posed to women who've made it to the top of the corporate world is how do you balance a demanding career with having a family?

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Arguably, it's asked of men on too few an occasion.

But a high-profile man in the business world has finally gone public with a long-held secret of working fathers: men struggle with work-family balance too.

Max Schireson,  chief executive officer of MongoDB, a database company with an office in Dublin, has announced that he is leaving his position.

In a blog post he said he found combining his role as a high-level executive with being the kind of father that he wants to be almost impossible.

In his post, he went into the details of his personal life: three kids between the ages of nine and 14 as well as a demanding travel schedule and a punishing commute.

He also pointed out that his wife has an important career of her own.

"A few months ago, I decided the only way to balance was by stepping back from my job.

"Right now, I choose to spend more time with my family and am confident that I can continue to have a meaningful and rewarding work life while doing so," he wrote.

It's rare for a man to make such a pronouncement in the corporate debate about work-life balance.

The Punt applauds him.

Techno bean counters

The bean counters over at Deloitte seem to know their apps from their escrows.

The firm has announced a tie-up with research and development (R&D) tax credit specialists Leyton Ireland, to create jointly owned Deloitte Leyton Consulting Ireland.

The combined team includes tax consultants, accountants, scientists, engineers and IT professionals, with in-depth knowledge and expertise in R&D tax credits. R&D is all the rage, with €3.6bn spent by companies here on innovation in 2012 alone.

Indeed Deloitte, which employs 1,350 staff at offices in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, seems keen on carving out space for itself in the high-tech - and no doubt high-spending - sector.

Its Technology Fast 50 awards (now open for entries) ranks emerging technology and innovation-led businesses, and no doubt gives the firm a useful "in" to the sector seen as most likely to produce the Irish corporate giants of the future.

As well as the main 'Fast 50', there's a 'Rising Star' category aimed at start-ups. The closing date is September 19 with winners announced on November 7.

Ceiling closes in in London

MORE news of the star-crossed Hertsmere Tower in London's Canary Wharf has reached The Punt.

As you will remember, Irishman Tom Ryan appeared to put a deal together to buy the site for the planned tower last year. The Financial Times revealed, to great fanfare, that Mr Ryan and his team would build the tallest residential tower in Europe.

Alas, it did not happen. It turned out Mr Ryan and his partners had not closed the deal for the site and it was ultimately bought by a Chinese group called Greenland Holdings.

This all caused quite the furore at the time but things have settled down now. Greenland are busy at work though. Our friends at Bloomberg reported on Friday that the firm had lobbed in a planning application to the local council to add another nine floors to the Hertsmere Tower, which would create space to add another 282 apartments.

This is an interesting change because Greenland won't increase the overall height of the building. That means lower ceilings.

The Hertsmere Tower lives on, albeit in a more humble guise.

Irish Independent

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