I was over at my sister-in-law's place last weekend. A drive from Noida to Gurgaon is more like a cross country rally so by the time we reached, we were quite famished. But this is not about the awesome food she served. She is in that stage in life where the day seems to have too few hours. With two kids, one 3 years old and the other just a little younger and a full time successful marketing career, she's often caught juggling between her pririties. It's at these times in life that you feel that if you stop for a moment, all the balls in the air will come crashing down.
So, in the course of our conversation, she narrated a very interesting incidence. Her company is very aggressive in pursuits like recognising women's issues etc. and had organised a closed group discussion of the women employees with some personalities like Kiran Bedi. While everyone was constantly wailing about how the system doesn't understand their problems, Kiran Bedi finally lost her patience and intervened. Below is what I understood of what she said:
"We can go on and on for hours about women's issues but there is one fundamental thing that the management needs to recognise. A person has x amount of energy. The man gets up in the morning, plays with the kids, gets ready, goes to work, comes back and lies down to watch TV as he's tired with the day. A woman wakes up, oversees the domestic help, gets breakfast made, wakes the kids, manages their morning routine, orgnises tiffin, gets ready, goes to work, calls home 10 times a day to check on the kids, comes back, supervises the cook for dinner, gets the house in shape and on and on. By the time she hits the bed, her energy is completely sapped. This is not an attempt to take credit away from husbands who help around the house but the fact in India remains that it is her responsibility to see that it all gets done. If the management takes steps to take some of these responsibilities off her shoulders, she will readily divert her energies to office."
Having heard this outburst, the head of the company sitting there rose to the occassion and announced that every office of the company will have a creche for young mothers! They also as a policy allow work-from-home option and flexi hours. Bravo!