Swati CA

Swati_CA column in The Hindu Business Line

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

We women should pursue what we want to pursue and not what society wants us to pursue

Is it becoming increasingly necessary for women, not only to be financially independent...?"

"In my mind, when I think about all the problems that women have to go through at the workplace, I sometimes begin to wonder whether we as women actually fuel the already existing (mis)perceptions of our abilities to perform in the corporate world.”

“Any modern, educated, 21st century, woman reading the statement I just made must be thinking ‘Me? I don’t understand how I contribute to the negative attitude surrounding women’s skills?’”

“It’s really a paradox that we’re dealing with in this day and age - are women really incapable of performing well in the workplace because society tells them that they are incapable of growing and contributing to the success of an organisation?”

“Do we women start believing that we are meant to be mediocre employees and cannot even dream about contributing the managerial level because that’s what society has instilled in us since the day we set foot into this world?”

“I have to admit that we live in a country where the idea of women working is still a big no-no in many communities. However, things have changed drastically since the 1930s when my grandmother was asked to stop her education and get married at the age of 15; my mother luckily completed her education, got married at the age of 20, and started working after her 3rd child because she wanted to pursue her dreams - of course she had restrictions for the first 9 years of her marriage (things didn’t come to her easy), but she eventually pulled through and learnt how to manage a home as well as her career.”

“Today, I have got an education, I can choose to study further, I am working pre-marriage, and I’m sure I’ll continue to work post marriage - see the trend? Now how do you think women got this far? What women have to start understanding is that we can do more today not because people (both men and women - you’ll be surprised to hear how many women pose restrictions on other women) have allowed us to get this far, but because we have the confidence to say ‘we can do it!’ and we will do it!”

“In no way am I a feminist and in no way do I think men and women are equal - there are things women can do that men cannot and vice versa. My point is that we women should pursue what we want to pursue and not what society wants us to pursue - of course this is going to be difficult because of the mind-set people have had for generations, but who ever said it was going to be easy?”

“It’s very easy to give up, but it’s much more gratifying pulling it through till the end. People will eventually get used to women being on an equal platform as any other individual - we are human beings and no one person is weaker than the other.”

Swati Kapoor, Software Design Analyst, Synygy India P Ltd, Pune.

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