Friday, July 4, 2014

Actually, no one can have it all..

In her recent interview PepsoCo CEO Indra K Nooyi said "Women can not have it all".  Actually I don't know what she means by particularly mentioning women in this statement. Is she referring to work-family life balance? Did she mean that women with successful careen won't be considered as good wives or mothers? or was she talking about the guilt factor that they cannot pay enough attention to their family, which troubles many women who work? Actually who can have it all? Can men have it all? Can so called rich individuals or corporates have it all? Isn't each one of us have to sacrifice something to get something in our life? Most of the time we our self choose the path which we want to follow (in life or career), we make our daily choices, we set our preferences so at the end why to complain?

In her interview she also expressed some instances in her life when she felt that she was not being a good parent, she mentioned her inability to attend a coffee sessions which her daughter's school has specially for working women. I wonder if that school had similar coffee sessions for working dads? If not, why? and if yes, then how many dads felt guilty for not attending it? Did she felt more guilty because as a woman and mother she felt it's her duty (compared to her husband's) to attend these functions and her kid's other needs? If this is so, then there is a basic flaw in this thinking why it is expected from moms to be more available for their kids, why can't dads do the same job whenever needed? As a society aren't we mature enough to understand that there is no gender specific job, both genders can handle many things equally well. If a mom can be a CEO then dad can definitely attend to kid's needs. These jobs are not defined by gender but anyone can acquire those skills and do that job if required.

Another point which is worth considering is, why did she felt guilty? She is a successful professional who achieved very commendable success in her professional field. Is she worried that as she is a woman people might judge her differently on personal level, and will question her commitment towards her family (specially kids)? Isn't it a common to feel guilty for not attending your child's school function or performance no matter whether you are dad or mom? I wonder on what basis a working mom can claim that they feel more guilty about these things compared to a working dad? The standards would be same for both the genders, one can not assume that men don't feel same attachment towards their children as women feel, or dads cannot take care of their kids as good as moms can. When we talk about equality it is not only for women but for both the genders. I agree that women are discriminated more because of their gender but at the same time men also face similar treatment. Whether it is positive or negative, discrimination is discrimination and it is wrong.

The truth is we all make some sacrifice in our life for various reasons. We all get judged by society or by our friends and family in some way, this is common for everyone. There is always something which we miss, we always choose what we think is most important at that moment of life. Those choices can be right or wrong, but we all make them and in that process we gain something and also loose somethings, in the end we all try to balance the things. Everybody's aim is to gain things which matter us more compared to what we stand to loose. Different people prioritize things differently, something which is important to me may not be important to some one else. Actually, no one can have it all. It doesn't matter women or men they all gain somethings and loose somethings during their personal and professional life. It is unfair to say that only women can't have it all, this might discourage some women who want to achieve success in their professional life. May be intention of Indra Nooyi was good but her statement is conveying a wrong message. Why do even women like her expect to have it all? I have not seen any other CEO saying that men can't have it all, because no one is supposed to have it all, it is that simple. Choose the path which suits you the best, give your best effort and then enjoy the journey, that's what matters the most.

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

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