What More Do We Have To Do?
In my present job I am feeling restless. The reason being that I can’t see myself growing beyond a certain level. Why? Because this is the trend I am seeing presently. 70% of the middle level positions and 99% of the top management positions are held by men.
No there is no dearth of women at the initial level and they are still in the organization but have not escalated to the top like their male counterparts. Why is it so?
Someone was trying to tell me that women simply can’t handle the kind of pressure a top executive has to face. WHAT? We handle that sort of pressure on a daily basis. Office, house, kids, in-laws and ourselves. All of this has to be packed in 24 hours yaar. And they say that we can’t handle the pressure. Please try preparing a meal for a family of 04 (including 02 kids) after getting back from office. And try to do that when you have teenagers at home and then we will talk about pressure.
Lets start from ourselves first and see where we lack. We all are working in diverse situations like self employed, family business, government job, private sector, NGO etc. in all sort of fields like lawyer, fashion, sales, finance, HR and so on and so forth. You name it and one of us is in that field. We all work as hard as our male counterparts and sometimes are more efficient than them (you can count even the bosses in that). In my short career spanning over a few years I have been complimented many times on this aspect along with criticizing the male counterpart for his callousness and uncooperative behavior.
But inspite of this many times at the time of hiring only questions about your plans to get married and start a family are asked and the position is denied upfront saying that within a year or two you will take leave, get married and then in a few months go on a maternity leave.
In case we are hired after going through such questions, we do take a maternity leave in due time and that means lagging behind when it comes to promotion. But this is one thing that can’t be helped. Many of us are leaving our kids with maids and running back to office within 2 months of delivery for the fear of being left behind and work with the guilt of neglecting our babies. The only solace is that we are doing this for their sake only as we want to give them the best of everything.
In all this what is our fault? We keep doing everything in our power to manage our professional and personal lives as smoothly as possible. This reminds me of an incident when once I had to stay back in office till late in the night for something and the situation was where I felt I will be able to leave in 30 minutes but had to extend it by another 30. This happened quite a few times and all the while my boyfriend (an ex now) kept on waiting patiently for me for dinner even though he was starving. Many of us have been blessed permanently with such partners who not only wait for us but get into the kitchen and make dinner, help the kids with homework and put them to sleep. They even give us a massage with a cup of tea when we reach home.
But all this effort on part of us and our family is not enough to push us up the corporate ladder.
Nothing out of our lives can be taken out to make more time for something else. Its jam packed. But even then we have to be satisfied with peanuts while someone else takes the cake because we are women and we are not content with a few stars but want the universe.