Cheat Sheet Principle of Life: Men and women are different. Women have to accept those differences and move ahead.
In a leadership workshop at my workplace, an American woman, who is in one of the top leadership positions in our company, spoke about her life experiences/hurdles. Her major career roadblock was having 3 three kids in 4 years. The only option she had was to keep working and go to a mental institution or quit her job. She stuck with the first option and kept on working and few years down the line, she is managing a global team. She recounted an experience which I will always remember. Her neighbor was a working woman, who gave up her career to raise children. After about 15 years, the children left home for school. The neighbor lady remarked to her, ‘I thought my kids will be different because I stayed at home to bring them up. Now, I look at my kids and yours, they are not at all different.’ The manager lady was like, ‘What? Just because I was a working mother, you expected my kids to become some kind of anti-social elements?’ Well, she didn’t tell her neighbor that, she just kept silent.
In Apurva Purohit’s book, ‘Lady you’re Not a Man’, she writes about the guilt demon which tags along with women wherever they go and whatever they do. If you give up your career to raise children, you feel guilty about wasting your education. If you are a working mother, you feel guilty about not being with your child all the time. Apruva asks, which guilt are you more comfortable with? Leaving a career or leaving your child a few hours in a day? Because being guilt-free is a no-option for a woman.
There are few other points in Apurva’s book, which make you pause and think.
She sees many women who stop working after they are married, either because their in-laws don’t support it or because their husbands’ are too rich. She says before quitting, think about all the women who could not afford the right education to be in the position that you are. She tells, you are wasting all that education, and the opportunity to use that education to gain financial independence for a very trivial reason. Really think before giving up.
For a woman to be successful, she requires a support system, at home and at work. Ask for help, especially in upbringing children. It is true that, ‘it takes a village to bring up a child.’
Just because you are woman, it does not mean that you are the only one having tough life. Men face challenges too. The society stereotypes them as the primary provider and protector of the family. A woman can quit her job anytime, stay at home to bring up kids and can be seen as a martyr of the society. Men cannot do that.
Women are better at multitasking than men. In this age, we have to juggle a lot of things, both at the workplace and at home. Eventually men will have no other option but to evolve into women to survive. Men are on their way to becoming better at multitasking and being more empathetic.
The book, ‘Lady You’re Not a Man’, was an absolute delight to read. I definitely recommend this book for reading (especially to women).
Background modified to include the picture of the book.