Being a working mum is hard, and it can often feel like you're always coming up short: missed deadlines, forgotten dry cleaning, and never, ever seeing friends. But we don't have to reinvent the wheel to figure out a better way through. Just look around at all the super successful mums kicking ass on a daily basis.
This Is How I Do It is a day-in-the-life series featuring some of these impressive women, who juggle big careers and families with grace and humour. Their stories won't literally do your laundry and pack your kids' lunches while you answer email, but they offer an honest peek at how someone else gets her life together every day.
Alicia Boler-Davis, 48, is the executive vice president of global manufacturing at General Motors. She has an adult step-daughter, and two sons, ages 15 and 12, who she raises with the help of her husband, Fitz.
5 a.m. — Alarm goes off, and I’m up drinking a glass of water.
5:05 – 6:00 a.m. — Shower, dress, and grab a smoothie.
6:00 a.m. — Leave for work. Today, I'm working in my office in Warren, MI, at the GM Technical Center. My other office is at GM’s global headquarters, called the GM Renaissance Center, located in downtown Detroit. Listen to the news and an inspirational sermon during the 30-minute commute.
7:00–9:00 a.m. — Global manufacturing leadership team meeting. This is a regularly scheduled meeting where my leadership team discusses a variety of manufacturing, manufacturing engineering, HR, or labor related issues.
9:00–9:45 a.m. — Send emails, text messages, and return phone calls.
9:45–1030 a.m. — Workplace safety leadership meeting.
10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m. — Meeting with select senior leaders to discuss a new product launch/manufacturing engineering launch review.
12:00–1:00 p.m. — Eat lunch, which typically consists of a salad with some type of protein. I also send emails, text messages, place and receive phone calls.
1:00–2 p.m. — New product quality review with a focus on Cadillac strategy and manufacturing initiatives.
3:00–4:00 p.m. — Budget review with my finance leadership team.
4:00–5:00 p.m. — One-on-one meeting with my leader of GM’s North American manufacturing and labor team.
5:00–6:30 p.m. — I attend most of my son’s home football game.
6:30–7:30 p.m. — Drive home with my son.
7:30–8:00 p.m. — Dinner with the family (already prepared because I don’t have time to cook during the week).
8:00–9:30 p.m. — Family time (help with sons’ homework, talk with sons, watch a little news or sports).
9:30–10:00 p.m. — Do emails, read, and prepare for tomorrow's meetings.
10:00 p.m. — Take a shower, then read a book or shop online to relax.
11:00 p.m. — Lights out.
Two to three days a week I work out at the gym or at home in the evening.
My current passion project: Working with GM Women’s Employee Resource Group on key initiatives to support professional development, mentoring, and retention.
The best part of my day: Interacting with people, solving problems, and visiting our manufacturing plants.
The one thing I wish I didn't have to do: Spend so much time in meetings.
The one thing I always worry about: Making enough time for personal fitness and relaxation.
The secret to being a successful working mother is: Having clear priorities and being present for the most important things at home and work. Being committed to “no regrets” and doing whatever it takes to make sure I following that mindset.
The one thing I would tell other working moms: Be flexible, make adjustments, and ask for help.
Becoming a mother changed this thing about me: I am more patient and aware of my impact on others.
Who helps raise your kids? Tell us about your village: My mum, Denise, has been a tremendous help over the years with helping raise and care for my children. Without her and Fitz’s support, I definitely couldn’t do what I do.