Shine Leader Tita, otherwise known as Franziska Rizzolli von Klocke, was recently interviewed by the German blog, Fielfalt. They wanted to know how she successfully manages to balance two careers and three children at once…

You have worked at Microsoft for more than 13 years. What inspires you about the business and your role?

Microsoft is a company that is constantly transforming. To be employed by them means that you deal with the technological developments of the future and experience the evolution. Terrific. It also means that our roles, tasks and projects are constantly changing and evolving. I am currently working on Business Development & Sales projects at Microsoft News and am also involved in Diversity & Inclusion.

You are also a Senior Leader at Shine. Please tell us what is behind Shine and what you do there.

Shine was founded by two women who want to make the corporate world a more human place. We work on this by leading transformative coaching workshops for women and men that give them the tools they need to recognize, consciously use and realize their potential. Leaders work best and make the most impact when they are authentic, and we encourage our participants to do so successfully: over 10,000 people worldwide have participated in Shine programmes so far.

You have two demanding jobs, are involved in various initiatives and are a mother of three children. How do you manage to fulfil all these roles and do you have an insider tip on how to structure and organise your everyday life?

Unfortunately or fortunately I do not fill all my roles at all times. My three tips are: 1) Organize help and get help 2) Less perfectionism 3) Say ‘no’ more often.

Working Moms are sadly often referred to in Germany as ‘uncaring mothers’. Do you ever experience guilt, and how do you deal with it?

We could discuss the term ‘raven mother‘ for a long time… Of course I am often caught up in my guilty conscience; when I couldn’t go to a performance of the choir in the morning, or I am exhausted and irritated after a hard day in the evening.

I have been dealing with this subject for a long time now and know from myself that I would be unhappy if I couldn’t work and therefore wouldn’t be a better mother if I didn’t work. Every mother has to make this decision at some point. Fortunately, studies show that the children of working mothers do not automatically end up in the gutter.

What advice do you have for women who have children and still (or maybe because of that!) want to have a career?

It’s absolutely possible to combine children and career – it’s not necessarily the easiest way, but it’s feasible and there are plenty of women who exemplify this to us (and hopefully won’t be called raven mothers).

The important thing is that you are always on your own path to happiness, to fulfillment. All the ‘new work’ concepts such as flexible working hours and home office arrangements are of course a great help to mothers to be able to manage their day better.

You want to strengthen women in the German economy and make it more female-friendly in general. In your opinion, what is the biggest reason in the economy, but also among women, as to why there is so much catching up to do?

I’ll try to be brief in answering the question, although I could actually write a novel about it and maybe one day I will. What is lacking in the economy, in politics, in society and among women? We need to do a lot of things to make the working world more friendly for women. My personal goal is to work with women and to empower them in such a way that they can recognise and accept the challenges and opportunities they face. I will now make a few generalizations: women tend to question themselves and their abilities more critically and perceive more ‘obstacles’ in their way; children, family and the opinion of the social environment. We must therefore not only improve the conditions in companies, the economy and society, but also coach women to overcome the obstacles they face and to advance their careers.

And last but not least, what was the best advice you ever received?

Ask for help! If you need or want something, ask for it! Do not wait for your environment to recognize what you need. We are all often too busy with ourselves and cannot read people’s minds. What is the worst that can happen?

This article was originally published on the Fielfalt blog >