Brenna McGee - A Balancing Act

By Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter, PhD

woman sitting on couch with laptop.


A mid-career female academic researcher receives personal advice from an older female faculty member on how to better prepare herself for promotion to full professor that doesn’t take into account her work-life balance choices.

The case can be used to help develop career skills that may be useful to achieving long-term success, such as:

  • Work-life balance
  • Working smarter, not harder
  • Organizing with other women across difference (in race, sexuality, age, class, ability status)
  • Building your professional support network
  • Communicating your impacts
  • Managing conflict


Upon completion of this case, students will be able to:

  • Recognize work-place gender and age biases;
  • Describe same-sex benevolent sexism as a concept;
  • Recognize workplace gender biases related to the care of children;
  • Describe the concept of ‘working smarter, not harder’ and relate it to work-life balance challenges;
  • Strategize on how to manage conflicts at work;
  • Understand the value of organizing with other women across difference;
  • Formulate a strategic plan for action.