I was inspired to write this post after watching Ms Sandberg’s Ted talk. I am currently reading her book “Lean In” and as an advocate of equality in everything, am posting my thoughts.
When I first joined the workforce, I was a young idealist who thought work will be similar to atmosphere at home where there is no difference if you are a woman and you can speak your mind just like the next person sitting on the table. I was shocked! I am talking about India in early 90s where women were joining the workforce in droves but their primary motive was to still to get married and be a secondary earner. I had too much ambition and brains for that!
The best thing I did was marry my husband. I always say it takes a strong man to marry a strong woman and our relationship is a true example of that. While it may sound a bit blah statement in the west but in a traditional Indian setup it is a big deal to have a truly equal partnership in a marriage.
My biggest challenge was when I had my son. I was getting bored but did not want to leave my baby in child care. He was still breast feeding. My husband was going thru his own challenges at work and throw a baby in the mix and you know what I am talking about. We sat down and made a joint decision – my husband will leave his job and be the primary carer for our boy and set up his work while I join back work. It sounded perfect but it was hard the first few months. I had still not broken the umbilical cord and was very emotional on my return. My husband had no idea how to raise a baby and was feeling incapable and out of control. We were arguing and fighting but we kept going. With some tenacity and help at work, we managed it.
Today I feel a sense of accomplishment both in terms of family life and work and my relationship with my husband is stronger than ever. We have achieved this together and we are proud of it.
My advice is what Ms Sandberg has already said – have a partner in true sense. Also, don’t give up. Together you can achieve wonders.