“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” – Sheryl Sandberg
Mother as a leader
“Women are leaders everywhere you look—from the CEO who runs a Fortune 500 company to the housewife who raises her children and heads her household. Our country was built by strong women, and we will continue to break down walls and defy stereotypes.” – Nancy Pelosi
I simply awed when I saw closely for the last few months, how much care and work it takes to raise an infant deliberately. It takes a village to raise a child and I see my mom taking a principal role taking care of him while supporting my Sister-in-law’s busy schedule.
I have started understanding more now, how much effort my mom put to raise me and my brother, but still, she was a ‘housewife’. I argue that with her master’s degree in science, she was only a smarter woman who could raise kids thoughtfully and intelligently. Many times I feel lucky being raised in India, where we could afford to live on one income. After I come home from school, I would spend an hour talking to my mom about school, assignments, and friends on full lunch (dal, shaak, rotli, rice, and buttermilk) prepared by her.
Yet we have limited maternity leave in the USA and many other countries. Women take care of kids and make this world better every generation, yet we undermine women and make them feel alone many times.
As much as we care to train machines like humans, I think it is more important to train each child at her/his best, I bet the world will be a much better place to live.
That raises the question, what if this world was designed by women? Would we not have promoted flexible schedules and remote working technologies decades ago? Would not we have invested our energy in inventing autonomous vehicles?
Professional woman as a leader
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”- Margaret Thatcher
More and more I talk to various companies and managers, I feel like women try to fit into the trend. Women always had more responsibilities and limited time, while managing household, chores, family, and kids. I believe the efficiency and empathy that we are introducing now to the work culture while doing product research or handling meetings, I believe women would have introduced decades ago, as that is a natural instinct to them.
I have worked with women managers, clients, and colleagues who supported and empowered me, of course, there were exceptions.
“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” – Toni Morrison
When women support women, wonders can happen.
Immediately after I came out of my first startup, and I had to look for a job, I talked to a wonderful woman and manager, who heard my capabilities regardless of my ‘speaking’ abilities. She not only offered me the job but she helped me to grow and mentored me along the way. I could talk freely with her about my thoughts and sometimes even my personal issues. She had been empathetic to me during that most difficult transition of my life but she empowered me to the point where I could perform at my best and I was promoted by her strong recommendation as well. Later for one of the difficult programs, she trusted my abilities to make it successful.
She never asked me if I had ‘experience’, however, she could imply my experience and knowledge to future work that I was supposed to handle.
Another woman that I am thankful to be is a wonderful client. She trusted and identified my potential. I could excel at that place and made a positive impact with her support and trust.
“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson
I do not think we should fight for women equality, women are different from men in many ways, we have unique capabilities and skills to lead, that we want this world to understand and trust.