Right from the beginning of my career I stuck to the development sector since that is what I inferred was my calling. I was excited about my first job which couldn’t last years since I moved to another city following marriage. But after a while when we were moving back, I called my lady ex-boss to explore the opportunities in the firm, as I loved what I was doing there. She asked me such a lame question that I could just slow-clap at her insensitivity.
She asked- “Since you’re married, you might even plan a family. How will you work efficiently?”
Does the efficiency depend on whether or not I have a husband and whether or not I plan to start a family with him? Do my hard earned degrees, experiences and spirit with which I work not matter?
Fast forward 4 years, I plan to get back to full time job two years after having my daughter and successfully running a small business from home. I start applying to all possible organizations and find an ex-colleague working with one of those. She left me startled with her thoughts too.
She asked- “How would you justify the 2 year maternity break?”
Why does one need to justify the time spent at home raising a child? Does being at home for two years make you slow or unlearn things? Does it make you any less sincere and responsible?
Both these women tried put me down at different stages of my life with their insensitivity, reiterating the fact that Indra Nooyi stated in a recent talk- “Women don’t help women enough”.
The first time I did not pay much heed to what that lady had said. But the second time it happened, I decided I will never ever work for anyone again. People and organizations which cannot understand the value and potential of a mother, do not deserve me. They are morons of the highest order to have missed a huge point that mothers can slog day in and day out, be utmost sincere, multi-task and bring out the best in every little thing because they are excellent managers.
In my two years at home, I did my own tiny little business managing the workers (who were all housewives and weren’t allowed to go out for work), procuring raw material, designing products, designing a website, social media marketing, packaging, despatching and every other thing, all by myself. And this gave me strength to just kick out the option of working again from my mind forever. If I could do this, I could any other thing. And now I intend to make a difference in the lives of less privileged children in my own humble way while juggling my responsibilities as of being a mother, wife and daughter.
One day, I’ll walk into the offices of the respective women and tell them about my work. I wouldn’t do this to belittle them. Every woman goes through the same phase sooner or later in life, they might have too. But in times like these someone somewhere might have backed them and hence they are able to continue to carve a name for themselves. So I strongly feel that it’s important for women in stronger positions to realize the potential of other women and have their back in times of need.