A working woman can’t have it all
I was always very ambitious; wanted a progressing career which brings with it money, name, fame fortune everything. Somewhere in my late 20s, I even wanted to marry and start a family. That happened in my 30s. I sit back and identify where I wanted to be – I wanted to be a Managing Director of my company; which I am not. But I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, an aunt, a daughter-in-law, a sister and though not a managing director (which I desired) I teach business management to budding managers.
Does a woman need to work harder to achieve success than a man? Yes, yes and yes. I am in total agreement with Indira Nooyi – Pepsi CO, CEO’s observation that the biological clock and the career clock of woman are in total conflict with each other. A woman has to plan her life meticulously to play her different roles at different times. She might or might not be able to justify all at the same time.
When world over the business houses are lamenting over issues like gender inequality in workplaces, boardrooms and the top slots in society – the question to think about – is there dearth of competitive women in world? Not at all; but she does need a supportive spouse and supportive family. And, let us accept, this “supportive” tag is in dearth for many.
As a woman climbs up her career ladder, she needs to figure out how she will play her multiple roles at her place of work and at home. She needs to navigate her married life, her social life, her personal life all simultaneously. When the woman’s career starts to take off; when she progresses in her profession, how does her husband handle it? The story is different for every woman. I mention here another factor; she has to battle jealousy and dirty games of her male counterparts as well.
Almost every working mom has this guilt that she’s not doing enough for her kids. Thus she has learnt to prioritize her activities and balance them which at times she pays a very high price for. There are lakhs of intelligent, smart and sophisticated women who had to scarify their jobs to keep their family happy. They had to say good bye to their flourishing jobs. For any mother (whether working or domestic) children’s well being comes first. There are dozens of parental issues which they need to sort out first.
A study confirms working women multi-task for more than 40 per cent of their waking time. The study also confirms mothers spend 48.3 hours a week multi-tasking – compared with 38.9 hours for fathers. And of course, mothers find multi-tasking a ‘negative’ experience which creates stress and anxiety. So, with all that tireless effort is a woman really appreciated? Can she be good at everything?
A working woman rarely can maintain her saneness, her poise in battling societal prejudice, peer pressure, male insecurity and internal conflict in pursuit of her professional ambition.