Jeanie Whinghter and Afra Ahmad: Balance vs. Harmony
In this episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with two guests: Jeanie Whinghter, PhD and Afra Ahmad, PhD. Jeanie is the Chair of Industrial and Organizational Psychology and General Psychology at Capella University. Her research focuses on the manifestations of stressors and strains in alternative work arrangements and was in Memphis when we spoke. Afra was in Dubai at Zayed University but will begin a new role in the summer of 2019 as Director of the Masters in Professional Studies in Applied Industrial and Organizational Psychology at George Mason University. Her research emphasizes diversity and inclusion and she has been authored chapters in books, published in Harvard Business Review, as well as in peer-reviewed journals.
Both are researchers, teachers, wives, mothers and truly fascinating people. We were grateful to be able to speak to them in advance the SIOP – the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology – conference in April 2019. At the conference, they’ll unveil an interactive workshop to illuminate the challenges of trying to “have it all.” Inspired by a satirical article in The New Yorker magazine (citation below), the idea of having it all has plagued women, especially, who strive to be successful at parenting and a career at the same time. Jeanie and Afra are advocating an approach that focuses on harmony rather than balance.
Our conversation first centered around their research and revealed insights for those struggling to have it all. More timely, we discussed their SIOP session.
After the formal discussion, with the tape still rolling, we talked in greater depth about their unique, interactive structure for their SIOP session and how surprising it is that more conferences don’t feature non-traditional, participant engagement sessions.
To learn more about the SIOP session itself, listen to our grooving session which immediately follows the discussion with Jeanie and Afra. If you’d like to skip straight there, check out the discussion starting around 51:40. There we also tackled the concepts of work-life harmony and the importance of allies.
Our grooving session continued with the challenges nursing mothers face when no nursing rooms exist. And we talked about the use of harmony is songwriting.