“For many men, the fundamental assumption is that they can have both a successful professional life and a fulfilling personal life. For many women, the assumption is that doing both is difficult at best and impossible at worst.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO.
Statistics dictate that your career will fall victim to the age old gender roles established by a patriarchal society; woman stay home and bring up children and men bring home the bacon. The result of that is the severe underrepresentation of women at top leadership levels. Of course, it is simplistic to say that all the women are dropping off from corporate roles to rear children, but between the proverbial glass ceiling, blatant favouritism of male colleagues, family responsibilities, and a system not supportive enough of women, it’s no wonder that only 14% of top leadership roles are filled by us.
Amongst the many problems faced by working women, the first to address is of the personal kind – The guilt. If you ask for a healthy family, and a healthy career, you’re made to feel like you’re asking for too much. The role of a woman in modern India is so set in stone, that stepping away from it makes us feel immense guilt. Here’s where the role of a great partner comes in. Your partner should believe in your career as much as you do, and together you will be able to have it all. Will there be sacrifices? Of course. Will there be guilt over not spending all your time with your children? Most definitely. But like numerous studies have shown, women who work make better mothers, and their children grow up to be more successful. So you really have nothing to worry about!
Go forth, work hard, choose a supportive partner, and fight for your position at the top.