Tanya Lepage



Balancing act: A working executive mom's guide to business travel


By Tanya LePage, Senior Vice President Operations at Corporate Traveler Canada

Picture this: I’m sitting on a plane, mentally flipping through my work agenda while simultaneously wondering if I packed my sons' lunches for school or if I sorted the birthday party gift. The life of an executive mom is full of dualities, especially when your role requires frequent travel.

As the Senior Vice President of Operations at Corporate Traveler Canada, I'm part of an increasing statistic. A 64% jump in female business travelers from 2022 to 2023 shows that more of us are on the move, blending career ambitions while nurturing family life. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it. 

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I find myself reflecting more on this balance. How do we make it work? How do we keep from dropping the ball on either front? How do we maintain our mental and physical health to be our best selves for our family and our work? 

My routine kicks off at the crack of dawn. I wake at 5 a.m., a necessary adjustment to synchronize with my East Coast and global teams. This sacrifice in sleep allows me to wrap up work early, clearing my evenings for homework help or playtime with my kids. Despite the early morning chaos, I've found solace in the small act of evening preparation—laying out the next day's plans before the house falls quiet, ensuring I'm mentally present for my boys before the sun rises the next day. 

This dance extends into managing workplace and family dynamics with grace. I set the tone with open conversations with my boys about my travel schedules —detailing what my days would look like, from whom I am connecting with during my meetings to snapping pictures of bugs to share with my boys, as they are obsessed with insects. Our daily FaceTime calls and a "mom will be back in one sleep" countdown infuse a comforting rhythm into our separation, a small but potent reassurance of my return. 

The demands of travel require a disciplined approach to self-care—choosing early flights carefully, keeping healthy snacks I’ve made from scratch on hand, and squeezing in exercise wherever possible.

Prioritizing sleep, leveraging the Peloton app for quick workouts, or opting to walk rather than ride to meetings has become my recipe for staying sharp and fit on the go. 

This constant motion impacts family dynamics, requiring careful planning and effort to support my partner. I aim to arrange my travel around key family events, missing none of the milestones that enrich our lives. Leaning heavily on my extended family has knit a tight fabric of support, love, and shared responsibilities within my unit. 

Professionally, travel is more than meetings; it's a chance to strengthen team bonds worldwide and align our collective visions and values. Personally, it's about teaching resilience and independence to my boys, highlighting the strength of women and the importance of setting a strong example. 

Finding what works for me took years, emphasizing disconnecting during off-hours and focusing on the present.

It's more than individual strategies; it's about building a support network, with employers recognizing our dual roles, families cheering us on, and us supporting each other. Striking a balance makes us better leaders, partners, and parents.

 It's about being fully present, whether at a board meeting or a bedtime story, embodying the values we hope to instill in our community. Through this balancing act, we not only fulfill our duties and desires but also set the stage for the next generation to appreciate, respect, and support the women in their lives who strive to have it all. 

As we celebrate Mother's Day, let's recognize the shared journey of many working women. The increase in women travelling for work isn’t just a statistic, it reflects evolving workplace and family dynamics.

Here's to mastering the art of presence wherever we are in the world! 

tanya and team