O ho! First feminism then challenges faced by women at work place! Why me! Why do I have to write on such dry topics? More importantly why are people still talking about this stuff, it’s 2016 for God’s sake, haven’t we left that way behind? Grrrr! What do I write about when there isn’t any truth left in that topic! Who do I write about when I’m surrounded with inspiring strong women who are successful in their respective fields, who make it happen day after day, week after week! Why do I write about redundant terms that have no place in the modern world! Why!
I dismissed it aside saying to myself “I don’t need this negativity in my life, I’m going go to the spa for that massage and relax this tension away”. Hmmm bliss! “Giving up so easily are we” said a tiny little voice. “Hell NO” roared a louder one in response, “there isn’t any “juice” there, it isn’t my writing style anyway”! Score! Should shut Ms. Tiny up! “So now we run away from challenges eh?” She won’t give up! “I told you, there isn’t anything to write! Who do I write about, hell even the masseuse is an inspiring woman who is so knowledgeable and an expert in her field”! “Dig deep Tiger dig deep” the voice growing louder encouraged! “Ok shhh now let me relax and actually feel the massage”!
An hour passes by and I find myself in a steam room, what’s more rewarding than a sweaty hot session in burning hell after an hour in heaven eh! Ok back to the article, should I read online? Should I just reply and say it isn’t my cup of tea? Don’t get me wrong, I’m gainfully employed myself, but I’m more a “manager” who gives people nightmares, I enjoy flexible working hours (hello writing) and I travel around each time I feel the need for a change in scenery (are you listening guys, give me happy topics), I sleep with the boss after all (hold your horses! He’s my husband!!!). The doors opens and in walks a pleasant looking lady with a big smile on her face! Yea she’s enjoyed her hour too! And she looks content am sure she isn’t angry with the world and unhappy in her job either! We start chatting after a casual introduction. Let’s call her S. S is a highly intelligent woman clearly well-read and easy to talk to. Then she starts talking about work! She’s a senior manager in a local bank. I’m impressed! She talks about how much harder she’s had to work to get to the position! And I am thinking – wait, what? “See” says Tiny, stirring awake again.
I decide to pursue, ignoring the now smirking Tiny – asked her a direct question, tell me S, how different is it for a man and a woman in the work force? Is it very different? “You know H, I am a very ambitious woman, I have career goals, I have personal targets, I work really really hard, I do get similar pay and rights like a male coworker but my income is always considered as a “second income”, the husband / male counterpart is always considered as the primary bread winner! And for this reason women are the first to be considered when recession hits and tough choices are to be made by the employers and the last ones to be referred for a promotion!”
It saddens me and angers me too. But I let her go on. “You must know too, you are in a good position yourself” says S. She’s done a MS Dhoni on me! I’m stumped, what do I tell her? I go yea but I’ve been working the job for 9 years now, been there done that I say dismissively! “But it mustn’t have been easy when you started first am sure” S is persistent! What’s with everyone today?!? Umm actually it wasn’t so bad, I offered. Then I laugh, you know years ago I had joined a training course to “certify” the knowledge I already had, and when I walked in the room, not only was I the only woman in there but I was later told that everyone including the faculty thought I had walked into the wrong room! This was the field of shipping and logistics, women had no place in it! The irony of it all was – I was the most knowledgeable there and in a room full of “trained professionals” and “experienced” shipping agents, I scored the highest in the exam! You know, initially I was often dismissed when I gave an opinion, and more often than not I was only “heard” because I was the boss’s wife, one time this guy actually called to apologize and before I could celebrate he said he didn’t know I was DD’s wife! And just because I was a woman, if I had a different take on things than the counter parts, I was asked how many years of experience I had behind me! Many times I was referred to as a “secretary”, with absolutely no disrespect to the lovely people who do the job, I was no secretary! I am in a managerial position, I make decisions and am responsible for the people and stocks in my department. When I started work, the stocks were maintained on an excel sheet (YES), all documentation manual and was a one woman show (ME)! I have traveled with my work, worked over different time zones much to my son’s dismay on my laptop and responded to emails on my phone! I now boast of a system that’s server based, multi user, and (hopefully) idiot proof! Yours truly designed it all! I fought with the management for budget allocation and then worked days and nights with the IT team (they hate me btw) to get it in place! I can finally now travel in peace and without a laptop! My son loves it and its guilt free! For that matter even an hour in the spa at one time was a distant dream and look at me now! But I still keep an eye on things, I can in a glance catch a mistake on a document, my team, while they are well trained in usual procedure do not proceed without an Ok from me should there be an exception and they have hell to pay if they mess with my system ! It’s my baby! I have worked really hard for it and to get to where I am today.
O my! What just happened? S is smiling, “and you say you have had it easy? You have worked your way up, you have fought harder, longer, tougher – to prove you are more than the “boss’s wife”, sure you had an advantage, a head start of sorts, but you wouldn’t have made it to where you are without giving it all you have and then some! You have fallen, been dismissed, prejudiced against and each time you have come back stronger than before, proving your worth, proving that you are more than your marital status and I can bet your husband never felt the need to justify his position in the company or for that matter felt guilty when he worked on his travels! You are unfortunately so used to the slogging that because you enjoy an hour at the spa you think you have it easy. Just because you have the luxury of travel you feel it is because you are married to the boss conveniently forgetting that you work hard for it, you earned it and which ironically is the answer to your own question – How different is it for a man and a woman in a workforce!
Tiger is licking his wounds, Tiny is doing a cartwheel! O well!
I had written this a LONG time ago. It was dismissed saying “readers would not connect”. It got me thinking – This is my story. It is as “real” as many other real stories out there that are waiting to be read. We all have a “voice” waiting to be “heard”. But how and where is the question! Thankfully the universe responded to what I actually “need” and threw it in my lap. Initium Novum is my space to “vent”. Like it or not, I’m here to stay! But now that I’ve had my say, it’s time to give back. Like I said tonnes of stories out there, each of them oh so inspiring! So why stop at one?
I’m so excited to announce the launch of our new Weekly feature – “What Women Want”. Every Wednesday you will read one “Real” Story of a “Real” Woman, a woman waiting to be heard – just like you and me, a woman who kicks ass and makes it happen on a daily basis, a women so inspiring that you would aspire to be her.
Taking the lead – here’s what inspired the entire Weekly feature of “What Women Want”!
PS: Monica Chindalia you’re on the “Pink List” for being as beautiful as the pictures you take!