Forget about life-work balance. That’s just another one of those buzz words, like glass ceiling, being slung around by the media these days that hurts working women, Oxygen chmn/CEO Gerry Laybourne told WICT’s Leadership Conference Thurs. ABC/Disney’s Anne Sweeney, who admitted she’s forgotten to pick the kids up from school before, called balance "the new ‘b-word.’ Take it out of your vocabulary… You can’t live in balance. It’s not the human experience." Shelly Lazarus, chmn/CEO of Ogilvy&Mather Worldwide, made similar remarks in her closing keynote, saying she worries about girls coming of age today who think they’re supposed to become vice presidents, wonderful mothers, attentive wives, board members, etc—and throw a nice dinner party at the same time. "It’s really, really hard, and I worry they will think it was they who are inadequate," she said. So, how should women—and men for that matter—confront work and home issues? Think "integration," said Motorola evp, CTO Padmasree Warrior. "I hate the word balance. It implies that you have many things in conflict," she said. Instead, integrate family and work—ask for your kids’ input on a project, make time to attend that school play during office hours ("School plays only last 20 mins," Lazarus lectured). — Other takeaways from the final day of WICT’s inaugural leadership conference: New Time Warner Cable programming chief Melinda Witmer offered some encouraging words for networks. "We’re trying very hard to build bridges and offer these new technologies that customers want," she said. "We really need to have a close partnership with our programmers so we can all make more money." BET chmn/CEO Debra Lee said one of the biggest challenges is the changing technology. Cable operators wanted digital content, so everyone created all these diginets; now they want VOD, so a lot of those channels fall by the wayside, she said. Witmer’s take: it all comes back to the customer. "It requires constant evaluation," she said.

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