It's a question asked of most executive women, and relatively few men - and to be honest asking it always makes me feel like I'm bowling underarm. But there are a lot of us who still want to know how the current generation of executive women juggle family and work.
Marlow says she has carved out some form of balance - although it's not easy. Married to a former Microsoft employee - 'our marriage was blessed by Bill Gates' she quips - she has the advantage of a husband (now at Adobe) who understands the challenges at the pointy end of the IT sector.
'It's not always easy - I make it very clear that my number one priority is my family. If I'm at assembly on Monday morning and people are looking in my diary they will see 'Pip at daughter's assembly' - I'm transparent about that.'
She and her husband also schedule their diaries (so Sophie (10) and Lucy (7) know who will be at sports carnivals) and 'ruthlessly outsource' so that time away from the office is spent with the family rather than the laundry.
Two decades of climbing up the IT tree have left Marlow with the financial wherewithal to afford important domestic support (and a killer collection of high heels which she considers essential given her five foot three stature).
Not that IT was high on the agenda at high school in Palmerston, New Zealand. 'I remember being in high school which had just put in a computer lab, it was a small windowless room with three computers, forget one-to-one.' Her initial reaction was that it wasn't for her; she'd never use a computer, so instead she embraced the then female stereotype and took a typing course.
Now though she knows IT is more than windowless rooms. 'We've got to change the perception from the pocket protector wearing geek to the fact that this is sexy, sophisticated Minority Report stuff and there is the ability to have a career in IT without being technical.
'The next generation wants to make a difference - well technology is going to help solve climate issues, technology is going to solve healthcare issues, technology will help with the ageing population.'
Microsoft itself could play multiple roles in terms of delivering the technology to that generation according to Marlow who recites the raft of products and services she and her team are charged with selling. Everything from challenger brands such as Windows Phone 7 and Bing, to established and entrenched systems such as office productivity tools, Windows and X-Box. On top of that the company is also managing - along with every other software company - the journey to the cloud, and working out how it positions Skype in the Microsoft firmament.
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Beverley Head is a Sydney-based freelance writer who specialises in exploring how and why technology changes everything - society, business, government, education, health. Beverley started writing about the business of technology in London in 1983 before moving to Australia in 1986. She was the technology editor of the Financial Review for almost a decade, and then became the newspaper's features editor before embarking on a freelance career, during which time she has written on a broad array of technology related topics for the Sydney Morning Herald, Age, Boss, BRW, Banking Day, Campus Review, Education Review, Insite and Government Technology Review. Beverley holds a degree in Metallurgy and the Science of Materials from Oxford University and a deep affection for things which are shaken not stirred.