Indra Nooyi (CEO, Pepsi) set the ball rolling with her controversial statement “A woman cannot have it all”. Anuranjita Kumar(Chief Human Resources Officer for Citi, South East Asia) came next with her book, “Can I have it all?”
Both the women are highly successful in their careers, but have raised a question mark in the minds of the less fortunate.
“Is pursuing professional success worth the effort? Should women aim at reaching the peak, at the cost of their personal lives?”
A man is never besieged by guilt, because he has been wired to think that his success lies in being a producer of wealth, for the business, and for the family. The physical aspects of motherhood and security concerns in an unsafe location, are the only two factors that differentiate the genders. Yet, the burden of guilt is disproportionately tilted on one side. The factors of mobility, flexitime, domestic help, day-care facilities, family support, needs of the elderly at home impact both in a similar manner, and require similar solutions. We do come across the occasional guy, who says that he missed out on the childhood of his offspring, due to preoccupation with work. But he is smugly content, that his other half has amply compensated for the same.
The woman’s guilt stems from a conditioning that she is solely responsible for the family’s day-to-day needs. The complexity increases with an interplay of the following factors:
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