Etienne Fang - On redefining "Having it all"

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Dear English-speaking friends, welcome to Les Equilibristes ! My name is Sandra Fillaudeau, I am the creator and host of Les Equilibristes, a podcast in which I invite women, men, couples, to explore together what it means to lead a full life, juggling with work, children and all the rest that makes life interesting and fun. Les Equilibristes is a French expression, meaning “tightrope walkers” - I like the idea that despite the many balls we juggle with, we are always moving forward, and that is how we find a sense of balance.

I now help companies better understand their talents’ needs to tailor a more suited and inclusive experience for them. To find out more, head to my website www.lesequilibristes.com

We are here to explore, together, and I would love to hear from you: feel free to email me with suggestions, comments, ideas at lesequilibristespodcast@gmail.com. You can also check out my Instagram and LinkedIn accounts and stay in touch there.

Now let’s talk about today’s episode: I had the honor of chatting with Etienne Fang, who is the talented creator of the project “Redefining Having it all”.

Etienne’s work is a journey across the world, meeting with women to redefine what the expression “having it all” means to them. She created a non-profit organization that uses storytelling and stories about the diversity of women and women’s ambitions to support female empowerment.

I was immediately hooked by Etienne’s curiosity, empathy, and how she had taken on exploring topics which are at the core of what we dig into in Les Equilibristes.

With Etienne, we talked about the need to tell the stories of real women, how career and life decisions are never final, but rather new doors opening onto new, perhaps unexpected experiences, the universal themes that she saw through her work and research, such as the search for independence. We also talked about how we are always evolving, and how 2020 and the Covid crisis is impacting the decisions women are making. Neither one of us really likes the expression work-life balance, so we also thought about more interesting, nuanced ways to phrase the topic.

I am so honored she was my first non-French speaking guest!

Bonjour mes chères et chers Equilibristes

Quel plaisir de pouvoir vous offrir accès à cette discussion avec Etienne et à son travail !

Etienne Fang est une Américaine vivant en Californie, et elle mène depuis 5 ans un projet à la croisée des chemins, entre photographie, storytelling et recherche, sur les femmes à travers le monde et leur définition de l’expression « Having it all ». c’est d’ailleurs le nom de son projet « Redefining having it all ».

Avec Etienne, nous avons échangé sur plein de sujets qui sont au cœur de nos explorations d’Equilibristes : la nécessité de raconter les vraies histoires des vraies femmes, le fait de ne pas considérer des décisions de carrière, comme celle de l’interrompre momentanément, comme définitives, mais plutôt comme une nouvelle porte, qui ouvre sur des opportunités inattendues. Nous avons aussi parlé des thèmes universels qui sont apparus à travers tous les portraits qu’elle a réalisés, comme la recherche d’indépendance. On a aussi parlé de notre évolution constante, et de comment l’année 2020 et la crise du Covid est en train d’impacter les choix que font les femmes. Et comme ni l’une ni l’autre nous n’aimons l’expression « équilibre vie pro vie perso », on a tenté de lui trouver des substituts plus nuancés, plus riches.

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If you would like to hear more episodes in English, let me know! I would love to hear from you: lesequlibristespodcast@gmail.com

And you can support the podcast by rating and reviewing it on Apple Podcasts - thank you!

References from the episode:

Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In"

The Women in the Workplace report for 2020

Anne-Marie Slaughter's article "Why women still can't have it all"

The article about mothers staying out of the picture

Etienne's article on her learnings

42 episodes