“Sometimes who is going to be taking care of all of my kids on any given day is more complicated than any trade agreement.”

Chrystia Freeland, International Trade Minister of Canada

I remember when my kids were very young having numerous conversations about the confidence that comes from have your kids well taken care of while you’re working. If for any reason, care is in question, it’s extremely challenging to focus on your work. Treasured are opportunities in which you can perform your job without compromising family commitments.

Political journalist, Jane Taber, is writing a regular column in The Toronto Star on women in politics, and this week chose to highlight Ms. Freeland’s recent choice to mix business and home life.

According to Ms. Taber, last month, Ms. Freeland hosted twenty-five Ukrainian government officials for dinner at her home with her family.  Ms. Freeland confessed this was not a “traditional form of government entertaining” however it was an opportunity to do her job and be with family.  Certainly it was a chance for her three kids to witness what mom does.  In fact, Ms. Taber reports that Ms. Freeland’s children have each travelled to Ottawa to achieve an even better understanding.

When the House of Commons is in session, Ms. Freeland draws on the support of her two aunts who fly in from the prairies to assist the family.

Chrystia Freeland Stepan Kubiv sign the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement

Chrystia Freeland and Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Stepan Kubiv, sign the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement Photo: www.pm.gc.ca/

This week, Ms. Freeland and Prime Minister Trudeau signed the free-trade deal with the Ukraine.


What do you think?

How do you feel about this story profiling a senior political leader and how she integrated work and home life?

What creative ways have you integrated work and life?


Now consider this quote from President Barack Obama,

“Workplace flexibility isn’t just a women’s issue. It’s an issue that affects the well-being of our families and the success of our businesses.”  1

What do you think?

Does highlighting a female politician’s work-life integration choices paint this as a women’s issue?

Can you share any examples of men being profiled similarly? Does it matter?


  1. Source: Society of Women Engineers