How to Do It All: The Case for Hiring Help
January 18, 2023
Ever wondered how everyone can do it all and more? The fact is, they probably don’t.

According to a Fortune poll (conducted in conjunction with The Muse and Fairgodboss), two thirds of United States working women (with one direct report or more) pay for some type of hired help. The scope of the help ranges from childcare and cleaning services to personal trainers and grocery delivery.

If you narrow your view to VPs, C-suite occupants, and founders, 75% utilize paid services to help at home.

We could - and probably should - recognize this willingness to procure help as much-needed progress for professional women. While there’s often shame or anxiety involved in paying for assistance, this problem is in many ways, uniquely female. For example, men are 29% less likely than women to say they felt a need to “do it all themselves” without paid help (Entrepreneurs Guide to the Care Economy Report by The Holding Co.) Women are also four times as likely as similarly-situated men in leadership to be owning housework and caregiving (LeanIn’s 2022 Women in the Workplace Report). That same report cites that 43% of women leaders are burned out - a jarring 12% more than men at the same level.

If you need some inspiration to find new solutions - or affirmation for systems you’ve already put into place - here you have it.

Your willingness to pursue help impacts more than you and your family; the ripple effects impact your team of direct reports, their employees, and others you interact with both professionally and personally. Young women in the workforce report that they are more interested in advancing when they see senior leaders with the work-life balance they want, and those young women play key roles in creating diverse and inclusive teams.

Sarah Bond, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President for Game Creator Experience and Ecosystem at Xbox explains, “In a few minutes with the team, you can either massively motivate and unblock them—or just incinerate them with a few words. So if you haven't taken care of yourself, if you're not in a balanced place, if you can't be thoughtful, if you're rushing and not really listening, or distracted—the impact on the people around you can go really one way or the other. Once I realized that it's totally okay to have somebody else do something for me, I started to really think all the time about what are the things that only I can do, and what are the things that somebody else on the team can do—and actually would like the opportunity to do. How do I use the hours I have to give the team the best of me that I can, and the best of my thinking?”

Molly McAllister, Banfield Pet Hospital’s Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Veterinary Affairs is an advocate for women - and all leaders - delegating what’s possible to delegate, at home and at work. McAllister is a mom of two - plus a dog - and employs tools ranging from childcare to grocery delivery to cleaning services to maintain balance in her professional and personal life. She notes how the two interact. “There is a tangible, emotional relief to walk in my house and have it clean. That positively impacts what I can give to my job.”

If more than 65% of my peers are hiring help - why haven’t I heard any of them talk about it?

Bond shares, “Women have been given this idea in how we were raised—or what we saw in the media—that our job is to make other people's lives easier and to take care of other people. Fundamentally, it sort of runs through all of these little subtle messages that you've been given. And so when you do something to take care of yourself, or give yourself balance, you feel bad about it."

The feelings may be normal, but so is having help, and the positive impact of appropriate help at any phase echoes through families, teams, and the next steps in all involved parties’ lives and careers. Help at home and in the workplace wards off burnout, supports mental health, and - at the end of the day - can make sure there’s nutritious food in the fridge or on the table, and a clean, functional home to nourish you for another day in leadership.


Read more about Bond and McAllister’s experiences in this Fortune Magazine piece.


Lauren Lyddon has helped people and organizations to tell their stories for more than a decade. Having tested her love of the creative through the pursuit of an MBA and undergraduate business degrees, she is a writer, editor, and lover of fiction in all its forms (especially theatre, well-written television, and novels). A West coast resident often operating on an East coast schedule, Lauren uses her business background and love of story to serve clients in writing, editing, PR, and more. You can visit her online at



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