eBay Inc. Executives Embrace Working Toward a Balanced Life

By: eBay Inc. Staff

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As women and men adjust traditional roles of providers and parents, Silicon Valley tech companies are leading the way, the Financial Times reports.

eBay Inc. leaders Laura Chambers, Kristen Wolberg and John Donahoe, the article noted, are examples of ambitious professionals who have found a way to balance work and family responsibilities with their spouses.

“At age 52, Donahoe is a rare role model for younger families,” the article says. “In him they see a leader who compromised his own career at various points to support his wife’s.”

Donahoe’s wife, Eileen Chamberlain, is U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission and a former litigator. They have four children, three boys and one girl.

Watching his wife’s early career struggles made an impression on Donahoe. “I remember so distinctly noticing that her path was harder; she was having to work harder to accomplish the same things,” he told an audience of eBay Inc. women last year.  These experiences have shaped his conviction that real change requires the cooperation of women and men and inspired his support of an initiative supporting the professional development of eBay Inc. women.

“I want [my daughter] to be able to have a career that has all the same support and engagement and opportunities as my boys,” he said.

Laura Chambers, head of university programs at eBay Inc., says she’s grateful that Donahoe advised her to look for a challenging yet flexible role after she became a mother a year ago.

“At first, it sounded like a step back and I said, ‘I’m not going to step back,’ ” Laura told the Financial Times. But in the sleep-deprived days of new motherhood, she appreciated her new flexibility.

Kristen Wolberg, a PayPal vice president, also didn’t let motherhood stop her rise through the corporate ranks. She takes pride in being a strong role model for her two daughters, while her husband relishes the role of stay-at-home dad.