Kim Walker is the creative director and senior vice president of brand and marketing at Morgans Hotel Group, a New York City-based company with 13 hotels and 8 soon-to-open properties worldwide. Walker, 44, is also mother to 15-year-old Oliver and 12-year-old Macie.
Walker has spent the last 22 years at Morgans, which owns the much-touted Mondrian in New York and the Delano in Miami, joining right after university as a front-desk agent.
As Walker manoeuvres through her busy work schedule — including frequent visits to the company's hotels — and her home life, she relies on a carefully constructed support system of family, friends and a longtime nanny. Among them: a company that has been supportive of her work and her life.
"I am one of the only women on the executive team, and the only one with children," she noted. Over the years, both the company and her family have had to make compromises. She occasionally worked from home, for instance, when a child stayed home sick from school, and had the flexibility to leave early to attend child-related events. These days, it's her children who must adjust to her increasingly frequent business-travel schedule as the company expands its hotel lineup.
Walker’s friends have also helped out when she has been in a pinch. And family members often pitch in, flying to New York to stay with the children when Walker has had to travel. Also key to Walker’s personal work-life support systems: understanding children.
"I think, even though it is not easy, today you can be a working mother and be successful in both areas of your life," she said.
Photographer Tom Starkweather spent a day with Walker.