The hand that rocks…

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Cannot Rock the Boardroom 

I came across this session / debate in iqsquared. I had my doubts on this video when I started watching it, but it actually went well 🙂 and had a surprising twist in the end, especially a question that came up from a view at around 30 minute time frame if I am not wrong. Because that was the question that crept in my mind when they were laying down their points against the motion.

Since they had women on both sides to talk about for and against, it was nice to see how they pit themselves against each other. In fact all of them are well settled and surprisingly women of my age (at least 2 of the 4 are from whey they proclaimed). Why does that matter? Because, for me, I could relate with them a little at least from what I see, what I hear and what I go through. Sadly, I am not a mother yet, but I don’t have to be one to know how it feels. I have seen my colleagues, my friends, my family go through it enough to know where I stand.

It is not that the hand that rocks the cradle cannot rock the boardroom. They can, if they have the determination, the support (from family, from workplace, even from the society) and it does help to have enough money too to help you out. If they do rock both together what will be consequences on both parts of their lives ? How does it actually affect your family and your work. Are you able to give only 60% to your work if you more involved with family ? Or does your family suffer because you give your 90% to work ? Where is the balance ? Or rather what is the balancing formula ? I don’t think there ever is one. Just like everything else, the balance varies from person to person depending on where they are, what work they do, their upbringing, their individuality. What works on one person doesn’t necessarily have to work for the other.

In my work, recently I have had women in top positions taking sabbatical for a year or two because they felt the need to reconnect with their family which they feel that they have ignored. Some women have stepped down from the management position because they felt that they couldnt manage both and do justice to both of them well enough. That doesn’t mean they are not capable, they just wanted to get their priorities right. Some of my friends and colleagues work too hard to manage both that we do have separate what-the-hell-am-i-doing-here sessions to just vent out the anger on co-workers, husbands, fathers, managers , who ever can be blamed for it 🙂 I know women who are my friends, trying to struggle to manage their kids and the work without any external help , none whatsoever but then I also know women , again my friends, who are able to do it with their family support.

I have refrained from choosing the management side of my work because I know what it entails and I know what I want in life. I had a strict 9-6 working hours but now that has changed because I could do flexible working hours. My organization allows it to a large extent unless you are in support or in operations which then gets tricky. And I know I am not a manager material. I simply am not (irrespective of how many women leadership sessions they keep scheduling in my organization and I always skip them). I love my life outside of work too. I love to spend time reading, cooking whatever I can, or just lazing around. I don’t want my life to focus mainly on my work. That is why I don’t have a career even after 15 years of working. I still have a job. I am OK with it. That works for me and my sanity and I find peace. But when a kid is involved, I almost inevitability give more attention to them. That is why my productivity goes down when I visit my brother or sister. Because those kids seem to be always around me and I can’t help but give my maximum attention to them.

What I feel is , yes the hand that rock the cradle can rock the boardroom, provided they have the support system in place for that, which is not the case at least in my place and as far as I know. It takes a lot of compromises and sacrifices, but how much of them are really worth it ? There in lies the decision. And last but not the least the passion and determination to really do it.

As long as I understand what you say

English is not my native language. I don’t necessarily think in English all the time. And I haven’t read many classics in English except for the ones that are taught in school in abridged format. My English vocabulary isn’t that good. And honestly, all these apply to my mother tongue too. That is because I had trouble speaking my native language because of my stammer. A lot of tongue twisting takes place in my mother tongue. When I had to relocate for a job in another state which has another language for communication, I had to learn it on the go for my survival. FYI: In India, almost all states have their own language and even though Hindi appears to be commonly spoken, not all of them are entitled or obligated to learn it. So we might have some difficulties in communication, especially in remote areas or areas that aren’t well developed. With such an environment, for me, English is just another form of communication. I may not adhere to the grammar all the times. Hell, I don’t even know the terms used in English grammar or for that matter even in Tamil Grammar anymore, other than the ones I absolutely need in my normal day to day communication. When I came across this debate regarding the English Language, I was interested to see what the elitists (yeah , I learnt that word today 😉 )  had to say. Between You and I – English is going to the dogs: This is the topic of discussion in Intelligence Squared. Its an hour and a forty minute long debate session, but is very interesting interlaced with humor and fine details of the language. I really enjoyed the debate. But my opinion ? I don’t care 🙂  because I still see it as a form of communication. I don’t want to think too much about fine points of grammar when I am using the language. But having said that I definitely would like to know how to use certain words and sentences because I wouldn’t want to communicate mistakenly with wrong word or phrases (I thought of using the word miscommunicate  here but wasn’t sure if it was actually a word or not). As long as I am able to correctly communicate to the other person I don’t mind. Currently, I do care a lot about communicating with the proper grammar in my software code because the machine that is actually trying to interpret it, is not having a sixth sense and is only programmed to follow the grammar to the letter T or letter G (how ever that it pronounced). But with humans, we have the ability to understand a few things even beyond the word, which in a way is a blessing as well as a curse. So ‘Between you and I’ , as long as the language does what it was meant to do, to be a form of communication, I am OK with the changes. I do admire people who use it very well and reading their works is always a pleasure too 🙂