For Heather, a supportive company culture fosters a healthy work-life balance.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Heather: I am a wife, a mom to three sons, an ice-hockey mom to a team of 17 players (and yes, they all call me mom!), a sister, a daughter, a friend and an HR leader for Baxter’s global functions. Not one of these facets defines me 100%. And finding balance with all those roles is hard!
How do you manage work-life balance?
Heather: When I started working at Baxter 11 years ago I was early in my career, had two young kids and couldn’t envision at that point how I was going to balance my ambition for a profession I loved with being a good mom. But Baxter helped. I connected with other working moms and dads. We talked, laughed and provided encouragement for each other.
We offer so many programs for expecting parents and support for growing families. We have networking and mentoring opportunities, and I think we as a company truly understand the need for flexibility more than ever before. Just the other week my husband and I were driving our 12-year old to a hockey tournament out of state, and I was able to work in the car, knowing that I could later focus my attention on the boys at the upcoming games. Our flexibility is all about what works for the individual – it’s what makes us an inclusive company, and one reason we were named a 2019 Working Mother 100 Best Company.
Our flexibility is all about what works for the individual – it’s what makes us an inclusive company.
Heather Wechet, a vice president in human resources and Baxter's Working Mother of the Year representative
Q: As part of Baxter’s Working Mother 100 Best Company recognition, you were nominated as its 2019 Working Mom of the Year – what does that mean to you?
Heather: I am thrilled to see Baxter recognized by Working Mother and beyond humbled to represent the company as Baxter’s working mom of the year. I owe this to all the people I have in my life, both personally and professionally. In my Human Resources role, I support some amazing leaders that understand my family life. They know that during hockey season my schedule really turns upside down, but they support me every step of the way. And I’m there for them – even if it means that I may join a conference call from the ice rink! On the home front, my family provides a terrific support structure – they understand there are times when I need to lean more into work and may need to miss a game or a school outing. The important thing is that there’s flexibility across the board – that, plus a lot of patience and laughter!
Q: What would you say to someone returning from parental leave?
Heather: You’ve got this! There are so many others here in the same situation with similar challenges, similar goals and expectations. We have created a culture where we are “all in” – we really are all in it together. Your team, your peers and your leaders will understand.
Being a new mom and coming back from maternity leave, it is okay to have conversations with your manager and it’s important to ask for help. Those are some of the best conversations. As a company, we understand the balance needed, and we support it.
All of this makes me so proud to be working for Baxter. From day one I felt connected to our mission – Saving and Sustaining Lives – and every day I am doing a job I love.