‘It Is Truly the Best Job in the World’ — Why This Working Mom Loves Her Compassionate Company

Sponsored by World Wide Technology

Shay Gillespie

Photo courtesy of WWT.

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May 18, 2024 at 4:0AM UTC

“It is truly the best job in the world,” says Shay Gillespie of her role as the Business Development Manager, Central Division at World Wide Technology (WWT). “I manage the diversity strategy for our central region division… [and] I’m blessed to meet with clients across several industries. I research and understand their needs, which gives me the ability to drive opportunities for 70+ client managers within my region.”

Adding to Gillespie’s love of her role, is the great job WWT does in supporting parents like her. “At WWT, you feel like it’s more than a company,” she tells us. “It’s your extended family, and I truly believe that leadership cares about your well-being; there are so many benefits that we have that truly reflect that.” These include:

  • Competitive 12-week leave for birthing parents

  • Parental bonding leave for all parents

  • A comprehensive healthcare benefits package

  • Maternity coaching

  • Return-to-work programs

  • Flexible schedule options

  • The Milk Stork program for nursing mothers

  • Family health centers

  • Adoption and fertility benefits

  • Mental health programs and other incentives to help parents relieve stress.

And through it all, Gillespie tells us that WWT offers the most important thing of all — compassion. Here, Gillespie shares more about this compassionate workplace and how it’s helped her excel and find her own way as a working mom.

To start, how long were you on maternity leave and what was it like to return to work?

I was on maternity leave for 12 weeks for both of my boys. Although it was difficult, transitioning to work was made easier because I had reliable, trusted childcare in my sister’s home daycare center. I had to be extremely organized because I was pumping every two hours at work, and I loved that we had our own room dedicated to mommy care. 

At the time, I was on the proposal team and my colleagues covered my accounts, supported my leave and were more than understanding of my new routine (pumping and lunch-time gym runs). I felt truly supported in the entire process, which made life easier

What’s your #1 tip for new moms who are navigating the delicate balance of working and mothering?  

Don’t try to balance based on others’ opinions. Concentrate on being the best version of yourself each and every day and doing what you can! Also, don’t be so hard on yourself. We all struggle, we all feel sad, frustrated and anxious. It will pass, and you and the baby will be just fine. ? 

Let’s talk more about boundary setting and finding balance on your own terms. How do you set your own boundaries to separate work and personal/family time? 

I make my exercise a priority each and every day! To do so, I unplug from work when it comes to my gym time. I like to be “in the zone” and focused on myself while I’m there. I also unplug when I am with my family. When I’m with the boys, unless it’s an absolute emergency (which is rare) I’m intentionally being present with my family. 

What about finding balance? 

To me, there’s really no way to measure “balance” because balance looks different for everyone — it takes a personal approach to ensure that you are prioritizing and ensuring things get done according to urgency in all aspects of your life. 

Personally, I’m a habitual go-getter, and I rely on my rolodex (which is the pre-smartphone equivalent to the notes app... for anyone born after the year 2000), and I just do and do until I can’t do anymore. 

So, to me, balance looks like giving my all to every part of my life. I don’t look at balance as a measurement, I look at it as small achievements in all areas of my life including home, work, and personal initiatives.

To achieve balance, I rely heavily on my husband. I couldn’t do all the things I need to do without him. He is a big reason why I get to be all-over-the-place Shay, because he’s super grounded. We are both very organized and rely heavily on a routine as a family, so that helps make daily life more efficient for us all. 

Can you tell us more about what a typical day looks like for you?  What’s the first thing you do when you wake up and the last thing you do before you go to sleep? 

After thanking God for opening my eyes, it’s workout time!  My alarm goes off at 4:33 a.m. every morning (the 33 is for my love of Scottie Pippen growing up). Then, after two hours at the gym, I cook pancakes for the kids before they go to school and then I then cook or eat my own pre-prepared meal. 

I’m usually at my laptop around 7:30 a.m.. Most days, I am in back-to-back meetings with customers, account reps, partner organizations and more. I lead our business impact initiatives inside LEAD, our Women's Employee Resource Group, which keeps me extra busy trying to implement and host new events that motivate and inspire our employees, particularly women

My workday typically ends around 5:30 p.m., especially if I’m working from home and don’t have to worry about drive time. In the evening, If I’m not traveling, my kids and I go for a mile walk in our neighborhood. I ride my bike (that I was awarded three years ago for 15 years of service) alongside my kids. After that, we watch television as I prepare dinner. 

Since we’re all morning people, we’re in bed between 9-9:30 p.m. By 10 p.m. the house is quiet, and we prepare for the same routine the next morning. The last thing I do is check my email and check my calendar for work meetings to ensure that I know what type of day I’m going to have. I also check my workout schedule to see what workouts I have for the next day. I’m a professional bodybuilder in my “spare” time, so it’s important that I’m mentally prepared for the next day’s workout and food regimen.  

Finally, let’s talk about your company’s culture. What’s your favorite aspect of it, and how does your employer aid you in achieving balance?

We truly have the best culture in the country — and on the planet! I began my career at WWT back in 2005, and I feel like we are one big family that currently is growing by the 1000s every year. I love our passion, how we treat our customers and how highly we regard culture, which is rooted in our core values – THE PATH (Trust, Humility, Embrace Change, Passion, Attitude, Team Player and Honesty).

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