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“How do you ensure work-life balance?” is question that certainly gets asked to every successful woman out there. Women entrepreneurs at our Breaking Barriers event series had some good answers to that.
Some 64% of Indians think that the main job of women is to be good mothers and wives, according to an Ipsos Global Trends Survey 2017 that polled 18,180 adults across 22 countries.
The figure tells us how domestic duties more or less become the responsibility of a woman at the end of the day.
When it comes to riding up the career ladder, there is a major challenge for women out there, to juggle between home and work.
This year, at our Breaking Barriers series of events, we asked women entrepreneurs: loaded with work, home, and more, how do they create mental space for innovation?
“Priority is something we need to figure out. The minute you know your priorities, you focus on what is important and you do the best”, said Sindura Borra, Founder, Cleanse High.
With a never ending to-do list, it becomes important to intelligently choose your time or you fall into a trap of constant guilt. As Anupama Dalmia, a leading blogger quoted, “Letting go of guilt is something we as women need to learn. You decide what is your priority; and not caring about what others say is something we need to adapt to.”
That being said, women should also choose taking care of their own self. With all their other responsibilities, women treat self-care as petty.
As Sindura mentioned, “Taking care of oneself is important before we take care of others, like children or family. It is important to plan for yourself.
“The relationship with ourselves when we are successful should blossom, but we don’t do that because we tend to prioritise relationships with others,” added Bhavana Nissima.
Aarathi Selvan, Mindfulness Consultant and Psychologist, believes that women are neurologically wired to multitask.
However, Manali Shenoy, Founder & CEO, Indian Concepts, disagrees. She said, “Multitasking is a myth. It’s better to switch to single tasking. At one time, focus on a single thing. It really helps productivity and reduces stress.”
It is significant to take into account how women spend a lot of their time in understanding and styling their own map of work-life balance, while men on the other hand, are mostly able to put a laser like focus on career.
Even after so much of juggling, there are still heads popping out of society, complaining how she is not enough.
“There are a lot of naysayers around us, who will say: what about work, home, husband?” said Richa Singh, co-founder, Blogchatter. She describes how women lose confidence in their own innovative capacity because of others. “I took a lot of time to reach here because I didn’t believe my own success story.”
On coping up with such scenes, she recited a funny story of how when she is looked at by visitors questioningly, about her house being in shambles, she responds, “Please look at my husband’s face and say it!”
“We judge ourselves by men’s standards,” said Anamika Dasgupta Sharma, Founder-Director, The Potter’s Earth Coaching, on how women’s careers are often different, and that is okay.
With all the burden on their shoulders, it becomes important to create a support system around and ask for help, than to wait for their comments on how you are not enough.
Farah Khan, textile designer and retail entrepreneur, essentially spoke about how when her children were young, she could manage work and home because of family support, and because of the extended web of relationships she had built.
It is necessary to build relationships that foster your career growth. Be it friends, family, kids, or the husband. Everybody has a role to play and if they don’t understand, it becomes your job to assign them.
Baisali Chatterjee Dutt added humour on Farah’s note with- “Family ko bata ke rakhne ka. (Keep the family informed.)”
“The risk is that you get called boss lady, or angry when you are assertive, but until the world becomes more balanced, I am happy playing the hulk version,” responded Richa. She advised attendees to take that risk and innovate. “Ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst that will happen?’ when you’re worried about doing something,” she added.
More than a 100 women who attended the event found the conditions and challenges that come with domestic duties relatable, and how even after all that, there is always creativity oozing out from them.
“You have to stop thinking of innovation as something to make time for,” said Anamika Dasgupta, which was agreed upon by other successful entrepreneurs who were part of the event.
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