I joined one of the leading MNC’s as an Analyst. I felt a sense of pride as my new shiny black heels made a click clack sound on the spotless shiny floors. Mom had bought me a new “HideDesign” handbag as a gift. I looked around as I walked towards my desk. The corner offices beckoned me. I could see very senior people, most of whom were serious looking as they typed furiously on their computer. Empty cups of coffee lay on their desk and photos of their loved ones adorned one part of the side table.
I will be there one day in a corner office with a gleaming name plate “Myra R” displayed at the office door. Of course, I will not drink so much caffeine I made a mental note, juices should be just fine for me!
When I joined , I never quite realised why people were speaking so much about gender diversity. I saw so many women on the floor, almost 50%. It almost felt to me like they were making a mountain of a molehill. But slowly as I stayed longer and grew faster , I could see what was wrong. And it enraged me. The number of women was dwindling, it kept becoming thinner as I moved higher up the ladder.
When hiring, things like marriage, maternity leave, women with kids who will not focus enough on the job were often spoken about. It made me question- well nothing much can be done about maternity because God has endowed women with a womb which bears children. But marriage, responsibility of kids- these questions , if a matter of concern should be one for men too. Don’t men get married and what if they have to move if their wife finds a good opportunity? Isn’t childcare the responsibility of men too?
I asked many questions, challenged people, I always had something to say at meetings, I am super good at my job, confident and bold- you can imagine I don’t have many takers. I do have a few good people who believe in me – thats because they believe in meritocracy. But for the larger population I am just a woman who has grown too fast, who has an opinion on everything and has benefitted from “diversity”. The “Diversity Candidate” that’s how they like to call me. I have learnt overtime to develop a heart of steel, a thick skin as they call it.
When they cant digest the fact that a woman has progressed and moved far ahead than them, find a convenient excuse.
2 things that my experience in the corporate world taught me-
Not all men are bad- there were many who supported me in my career, trusted me, gave me the right opportunities and propelled my career. I would always be thankful to them.
As a woman, helping other women in their career is my duty. There was someone who once helped me and its important to keep that circle moving. Having more women in the workplace requires each one of us to make a conscious effort. Its not just a number game where you talk about a % of women and your job is done. Its a continuous process of making each and every woman out there feel valued, empowered and make her believe that she can achieve her dreams. Her aspirations at work matter just as much as her aspirations as a mother.
I just bought my first “Louis Vuitton” handbag. Celebrating my big promo. Life feels good. The perks of a working woman.
Linking up with #BlogchatterA2Z
Image courtesy- Huffington Post
My theme for the challenge is
“A slice of life through Myra’s eyes” – a fictional tale of growing up and learning some vital lessons about self love, feminism, sisterhood, a working woman and the essence of being a woman in urban India.