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U to Present Conference on Achieving Work-Life Balance

At work, you think of the children you have left at home. At home you think of the work you’ve left unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within yourself. Your heart is rent.”- Golda Meir, former Israeli Prime Minister

March 18, 2003 — According to a 2000 poll by the American Psychological Association, two-thirds of men and women say work has a significant impact on their stress level. One in four has called in sick or taken a “mental health day” as a result of job stress.

In an effort to help employers and workers address these concerns, the University of Utah will present a one-day conference, “Achieving Work-Life Balance,” on Friday, Apr. 25, to be held at the University Marriott Hotel, 480 Wakara Way. Cost of the daylong workshop is $89. Advance registration is required and may be completed online at

Anne Peterson, conference chair and the U’s Career and Organization Education director, notes that workers in all sectors have the common challenge of advancing their careers while maintaining a rich family life. When balance between business and personal life is not achieved, a worker’s-and a company’s bottom line-both suffer.

Dennis L. Higbee, senior vice president for Zions Bank and the conference keynote speaker, concurs, noting that he thinks achieving balance between personal and professional life is one of the most pressing issues in business today. Higbee will share his experiences in discovering and dealing with the challenge in his own life. “One of the challenges many of us face is deciding how to balance the number of hours and amount of energy needed at work against the number of hours and energy needed at home-and how the process itself can be so consuming.”

Conference speakers include experts from the University and from throughout the state. Labor market economist Lecia Parks Langston will present her report “The Great Divide: Utah Women and the 52 Cent Dollar.” Presenters will provide information on networking, job hunting, Utah’s current economy, managing multiple demands on time and energy, the social-economic realities of single- and dual-earner families and ways employers and individuals can create value and sustain balance at both work and at home. In addition to discussing the costs and benefits of creating psychologically healthy workplaces, speakers will teach participants how to develop their own strategies for negotiating with bosses, resolving differences between coworkers and creating the kinds of lives they want to lead.

The last workshop of the day will focus on what it takes to win the Department of Work Force Services’ Work/Life Award and the Utah Psychological Association’s Healthy Workplace Award.

For more information, about the conference, call 801-585-1780.