By: Urooj Fatma, Head - Human Resources (Corporate & Plant HR), Macawber Beekay | Wednesday, 7 December 2022
A Woman in Modern Times is actually a dichotomy when we think of the traditional household set-ups. From ancient times, women have been mainly responsible for managing household chores, marrying as per parents' choice, having children and back to running the homely affairs. Well, practically "No Voice and No Choice". There have been deviations in the past such as Rani LaxmiBai, Marie Curie, Sarojini Naidu, Late Prime Minister- Mrs. Indira Gandhi and others.
However, as the society evived, women became more aware of their social and economic rights & it became inevitable to bring about changes in political, corporate houses and business arena. Women were allowed to vote, work in companies, and hold senior and board room positions and in certain cases became the business heir as well. In today's modern times, though a girl child gains education, can score well, participate in sports and groom herself to become a successful working professional, not much has changed on the personal front. This is an ambiguous situation for most of the working & professional women as there's too much to handle at any given point of time. The expectations from the family front, are still the same i.e., to bear children and manage the household responsibilities; and the man is solely responsible for providing for financial needs of the family.
Whether they are raised in cities or come from small towns or even villages, the struggle continues. The major difference is that opportunities in terms of education and work wise are better and more in number in comparison to small towns/ villages. Therefore, in cities, we have a huge influx of women migrating from other locations in search of better/ higher education and also for job opportunities. Firstly, we still are working in male dominated offices where many a times a woman is considered as pitiful and not recognized for their true potential. A woman has to really go out of the way to prove her worth which in the case of man maybe accepted quite naturally. For e.g., when an Engineer is hired, it is quite naturally expected that it's a manly job and if the case is otherwise, then the lady finds it quite difficult to make the Seniors understand that she is here for serious business. This often happens in streams or job profiles which are taken for granted as "Only for Men".
As a woman grows in her professional career, there are multiple other challenges that we face such as not being given as many growth opportunities as normally a male employee would receive because there are bigger questions? Will she continue after marriage, or post having a child how will she manage both the home front, child responsibilities and the office work pressure. Certain organizations accept women with all the responsibilities with open arms but there is still a huge scope of improvisation for companies to accept the fact women can handle office and family at the same time. In fact, many women are the breadwinners of their family and shouldering all the major responsibilities whether married or single.
Certain learnings and key take away that can share from my personal experience which may resonate with "Women of Modern Times" and am glad to talk about it:
1. "Never Ever Give Up". You must take this oath as you will be pulled in multiple directions and critics will be upto something or the other. So, always remember "When the going gets tough, the tougher gets going". You cannot let yourself down. Remember this mantra and you will never give up.
2. Always respect your Seniors, Colleagues, Peers, Juniors and be thankful for every day. Each person who we interact with, teaches us something. The lessons can be bitter and good both. And these lessons make us wiser & stronger. Remember, we are being prepared and geared for something much bigger and better.
3. If you have been given a challenge that no one else has been given or no one else has ever cracked, grab the opportunity as you are being considered worthy of handling the challenge. And, if you are able to provide a solution to your Colleagues, Seniors or the Management, then you are the Winner all the way.
4. Never ever play the "Woman card". Accept any task or job without complaining. If you are in it then you are in it else, don't take up the challenge and be sore about it. Be fair.
5. Always continue to learn and upgrade your skill set. It will take you really far and keep you ahead of the competition.
6. There is no replacement of "Hard Work". There is no shortcut for success.
7. We also need to implement "Smart Work". It does wonders but must be done after careful contemplation and intelligent planning. Else, it would just remain a good idea.
8. Stay focused on your goals and targets. Let not any event or person deviate from what you are out there to achieve.
9. One will face obstacles, negativity, nerve racking situations but, it should not deter or deviate you from your objective. Though, its easy to say to stay calm but in real sense, it is very difficult to do so in tough conditions. Just think of all the hurdles you have crossed to reach where you are and rest you will find the way yourself.
10. Respect Time. Every task or work has some timeline/ deadline. Finish your task as per the set timeline and believe me this will give you a very high level of satisfaction and will always let you stay ahead in competition.
We should be grateful for what he have; our endeavour should be of nurturing our values and whatever we possess whether materialistic, our value system or spiritual. We should also take out some time to learn things apart from what we do or the field we work in. For e.g., an Engineer should try to learn aspects of Finance, Commercial, business etc. Or a HR professional, should try to gain knowledge as to how business operates, technical aspects of a project etc.
Its time to accept the fact that we live in a competitive world, and we need to both survive and thrive. Yet, we should be connected to our roots, never forget where we belong to and never stop rising. In every way possible we should try to help our fellow women who are managing some situation or the other. This way, we build a better world. Compassion for people from all walks of lives, gender, region, caste, creed, education is the key to spiritual ascension and one must not lose it.