CHRO, HPE Financial Services at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Allentown, New Jersey
HR head Dan and his wife of
26 years, Nikki, a primary school teacher, have four sons and a daughter, ages 21, 19, 17, 15 and 14. They’ve all been home during the pandemic, leading to “a record number of dinners together around our table.” The family’s faith “helps us weather any storm,” Dan says, and is how the busy parents stay sane with a large crew under one roof. “Rather than asking, ‘ Why is this happening?’ we ask ourselves, ‘How can we grow from this experience? What can we do to learn, serve and inspire others?’”
As a working family of seven, what’s your biggest struggle?
It’s making adequate time with each of the children. You are never sure when your kids will need your time. It might be to help with homework, have a catch or coach one of their sports teams. It might be when they have a challenge with anxiety or depression, or a breakup with a friend. You have to create the space, reactively or proactively, for all of these things.
Did you ever have to negotiate roles around the house?
When we first married, I liked doing work outside— taking care of the yard, raking leaves or cooking on the barbecue. My wife tended to cook other meals, do the laundry and clean the house. But that partnership wasn’t 50/50. Before, I would joke, “I didn’t do dishes.” I now do them along with laundry and cleaning the house. The most important thing is ensuring you support each other as needed. We also created a Family Mission Statement so that we are all clear on our guiding principles.
How do you handle disputes about duties?