Flash news-Married women & Working moms are happy to travel on work #MyFriendAlexa

I am a working mom, I have a 4 year old daughter. As much as I am a doting mom and cherish every moment spent with my little girl, I am ruthless when it comes to my career. I am a very ambitious person and aspire to reach the highest echelons in my career.

I wrote a few weeks ago about why its important for women to be vocal at work- this is something that I practise at my workplace- looking for new opportunities which will give me a chance to showcase my abilities and build up my network at the workplace. A year back I was offered an opportunity to take up a new role for 6 months as the person performing this role would be out on maternity leave.

The role would have to be performed from Switzerland for 3 months. I was really excited. The role in the first place interested me, doing something new, forging new relationships, gaining expertise in a new area and working from a different location – it would all help in propelling my career a step further.

My initial thoughts were to take my daughter and mom along (just like I had taken them along last year when I went on a month long trip to Switzerland). But my mom runs a day care here in Pune and it would not be ideal to shut it down suddenly for 3 months , she had responsibilities. Besides I would be at work the whole day, it would get really boring for my daughter who is used to playing with kids. Sitting huddled at home the whole day (given the cold weather) she would find it no fun. My mother was the one who was keen I should go. Its just a few months, time will pass quickly. Don’t worry I will take care of Angel, she assured me.

My daughter is used to my Mom since the time of her birth,  I knew she wouldn’t have any issues. So. I took up this assignment, I am the only one so far from India who has been offered this kind of a role mobility for a short term.

My stay in Zurich was an absolutely fabulous experience woking in the office and living a single life, travelling alone and rediscovering myself. I did miss my daughter but we talked on Skype daily and she seemed happy- a few years down the line I know that neither she nor me are going to regret this. But if I stopped myself from taking this up, a gnawing sense of missing something would remain.

I met up with a good work friend  recently who is an Indian born and brought up in London. She is someone who has constantly inspired me by urging me to be vocal about my career, she is equally ambitious, bold and unapologetic. She came to India on an International assignment for a year leaving her life and family in London and then moved to China with a bigger and better role. Living in different countries, all alone is not easy. There are many challenges and I am proud that she tackled them single handedly and triumphed. Not everything may have always worked as she wanted it to, but taking that big step of being in charge of your career, being willing to move if need be and being adaptable and flexible is what stands out. I wish there are more like her.

I always hear this complaint from people that women are too soft and won’t be able to handle the pressure and the cultural shock- FLASH NEWS- This is bygone. Women can handle it, just like men do.

I was speaking to a friend recently who works in a different organisation and she was really dillusioned, She told me about how married women in her team are being sidelined when it comes to onshore opportunities and good projects. There is a pre determined mentality that married women will get pregnant, have babies, go on maternity leave, come back and consider work as secondary, why waste resources on them. This friend of mine is serious about her career and has expressed her interest in travelling abroad before her manager but is given the standard response and was even once told “Its not that easy, there is a lot of pressure and people are quite hostile, how will you handle?” Its like a overprotective father figure talking.

Both these women whose examples I cited do not have kids. If its so tough to for women in general- the condition for working moms has to be much worse.

There could be cases where a working mom is genuinely not interested in taking up the opportunity for whatever reasons and that is totally understandable. But , not even considering her and moving ahead with a pre conceived notion that she is a woman, married woman or mom and wouldn’t be interested or wouldn’t be able to handle it is outrageous.

Not only is the organisation missing out on a job well done by a talented employee, they also run the risk of the employee getting dejected, quitting the organisation and sharing this horrible bias with others which is a reputational risk.

I am happy that I work for an organisation and among people who value my contributions as an employee, sans the gender. The fact that I was given this opportunity is testimony enough that my being a mom was in no way a deterrent in the way of my career path or travel.

At times before I went ahead and  faced the dilemma – should I, shouldn’t I? I always thought about these articles I write, how I encourage women to own their career, protest against sexism and biases prevalent in the workplace. If I were to refuse this, I knew somewhere this  might strengthen the belief of people who already think on lines of “ah the working mom , you really think she will leave her baby and travel?” It was not just about proving them wrong, but the fact that I know my daughter was in safe hands which gave me the confidence to leave her behind and travel and the other fact being that I know if I have to rise in my career, I cannot be doing a 9 hour desk job. I aspire for big things which means I have to work towards my goals, seize opportunities and make the most of them, like I just did.

While every working woman may have different goals- for some its just a means of livelihood, others seek fulfilment in their career- there is no right or wrong , the only wrong thing is when women are sidelined due to pre conceived notions which impairs their career.

Its great to see the friend from London who took charge of her career and moved continents all by herself. I am proud of myself as well for saying yes and doing my bit in shattering the myth around working moms.

I hope the overprotective father (read boss) realises that his pseudo daughter is grown up and is ready to flee the cage, may he not clip her wings and let her soar high.

Image courtesy :thetravellingsaleswoman.com

I am taking my blog to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa in association with Blogchatter.

207 thoughts on “Flash news-Married women & Working moms are happy to travel on work #MyFriendAlexa

  1. More power to you for being vocal. What makes it worse is a fact that there women out there who believe that being ambitious will do no good. I took up in assignment in Spain just 6 months after marriage as I knew it would be good for my career. Folks at home had no problem, but a couple of my female colleagues who had kids tried their best to convince me not to take it and they also went to the extent of talking to my bosses so that I don’t face a “problem” at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You have brought up a very relevant topic! People assume if you are a mother you will not be happy taking up certain positions or travel… many can’t, but those constraints could apply to a man as well! And yes, I enjoy my work travels too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very well written article. I appreciate your choice and the role you played in bringing up such an important issue. Unfortunately nowadays even raising a problem faced by women makes one a “feminazi”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You know, a couple of years ago… I thought people talking about equality at workplace, the pay gap… the assumptions… is all just a social media thing but as I start to get immerse in the professional life myself… and listen to real stories from people i know, i think we, women, have a big fight ahead and posts like yours are going to help! thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you if we want more from our life we have to do that extra work and put extra effort too. you had done an incredible job, hats off to you

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I hear you Akshata. I know some organisations do have gender issues. I agree that travelling on a work assignment is fun and when kids are little older, one can easily take travel assignments.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are already an inspiration to many. This is such an apt post. It’s high time companies should start thinking progressively. Many women are missing such opportunities just because of gender. Feels so good to read such positive posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved reading this and could relate so much to this.. Having recently joined back work after a voluntary maternity sabbatical, I can see how judgy some people are… Just because someone decides to spend some time with their lil ones for whatever reasons, that does not mean they don’t value their careers or when they are back they won’t be as dedicated as anyone else. …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Firstly congratulations to you for breaking the glass. The problem in our culture is very few opportunities are given to working moms and the ones who get and break through it are not considered family oriented women.. If u get what I mean.. But it’s people like you who can motivate others

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You have made some very relevant points through your post! Indeed women need to learn how to grab and hold on to opportunities and be vocal about their aspirations. Glad you made your own choices and are proud of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pre-conceived notions still exist, I have a bestie who is now sidelined at her workplace because she is a new mom and they feel she won’t give her 100% so they give her less work. I’m glad she chose to resign and make efforts in some good organization. Hats off to your supportive mom 🙂 and the way you have been traveling and managing time for both family and work. God Bless and keep up the good work!
    #vigorousreads #MyFriendAlexa

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Some day some where the change must begin. Then why not with self? Why not with thoughts? Its very heartening to see that you took rational decisions that lie beyond the realm of emotional thinking. Proud of you Akshata.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kudos to you for raising this topic – women should not be sidelined just because they are married or have kids – every one should be given an equal opportunity – taking that up or not is entirely the woman’s decision…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hey Akshata, it was nice and inspiring story. It really is important to be vocal about your ambitions and aspirations in life. Let it be work or your family life. Be vocal and work hard.. thanks for sharing your experience… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a relevant post, Akshata! It is a pleasure to read a post by a woman who knows her mind, and is not worried to pursue her dreams. May your dreams always come true. Your daughter will grow up all the stronger for it. Kudos!
    #DeepTiesReads #MyFriendAlexa

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A very positive post. Yes, we have yo re-define our role and priorities. When we are confident about our choices then their is no one to blaim. If “I will stop taking traveling projects once I become a mother” is somebody’s choice then they should be happy with it. I am very happy to hear about your mom’s support and positive spitit. Good luck for you future career path.
    #MothersGurukulreads #Myfriendalexa

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have a 4 year old too. I travel along for work as well. Sometimes I have to hear from my folks that how can you leave your son alone and go. But I let it pass, I know what I am doing, and I know my son is okay. That’s all that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Very Inspiration post! I myself had taken such steps at work place and took the opportunity of moving in my career. I had to go to US for 2 weeks when my son was just 1 year 7 months , my husband supported and he took care of my son whilst i was there.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. You talked about something important which a lot of organizations ignore… Being ambitious, having a thriving career and being unapologetic about it is a great example for the future moms to continue with their career… The preconceived notions that a mom can/cannot so this and that should be broken…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Kudos women! you are setting the right example for all the women who are shying away from taking better responsibility in work life. I cannot agree more about these bosses and their presumption of married women career. I loved reading this peace of your work.

    Like

  21. I felt super happy reading this, I quit my job while I was leading a team. I quit because I had to take care of the family I was married into. As difficult it was then, I knew what I did. However, my kid is 15 months old now and I am clear that I cannot be a stay-at-home-mom unless I run a nuclear family, which I don’t. I made up my mind to join work when she turns 3. My mother is a working woman and she wouldn’t leave her job for anything. She holds it close to her heart and I have heard her stories of leaving a 3 year old (my sister) at home and also ignoring the comments at the beginning. I learnt that it would be difficult for me too, but that’s okay! It’s a decision that would help me get better! I admire my mom for her strength in holding her job even today when people comment on her for ignoring her kids!

    On a personal front, I am waiting for my daughter to turn 3 and that would be a change in my mindset and keep things running when I am at work. Eventually all will be well. You just pushed me onto the other side, Aks. I am truly motivated by your posts and Soumya’s fall on the same lines too. I am glad to read you through this campaign. I guess I need to read your blog more often!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your mom’s story it is indeed inspiring. When we come across inspiring women in our family that only fuels our passion abc we find the inner resilience to do more

      Like

  22. I am luckily in a profession where I can work anywhere.I personally need a balance of family and work.I would miss my hubby and daughter too much.Life is too short for living away from family ,is what I feel for myself.Different things for different people is a good thing.It’s best to do what makes us happy.Interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I choose to be entrepreneur aftee -12 years of job as i started getting pressure when i was pregnant forget about being mom and working but my decision was right.. But still sometime after being mom u dont get that equal support from family also

    Liked by 1 person

  24. In the past, I had the opportunity of working with women who are on top of the hierarchy and have been managing everything like a breeze. Well, I was once like that too. There are not many organisations who are so accommodating. In our country, the perception regarding needs to change. It’s high time. #surreads #myfriendalexa #blogchatter

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I came across so many posts that voiced feminism and some really fresh perspectives put forth therein. This is so true. Sometimes women are sidelined Because we don’t speak up. Once we do, people know who is in charge of our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Well written Akshata. The number of comments for this article shows how many can relate to what you said. I have faced these kind of problems in my work life.

    Like

  27. I have been working part-time since maternity and now looking for a full-time roll. I am ready to get back to the corporate ladder and I am not ashamed to admit that I want to reach the top! Your post comes at the right time for me. Though had I been in your situation, I am not sure if I would have been able to do the same thing. Yet I admire you and I am happy to note that such organizations do exist that give a woman an equal opportunity. More power to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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