Work-Life Balance

The other day I was chatting with a colleague of mine and he said that it was unfair to expect women to stay back late to finish off work. I said I don't subscribe to the views since if both men and women are paid equally then they are expected to share the burden equally as well. To which he responded "maybe, but then family suffers" ...I didn't agree to this logic too...
My take on the issue can be roughly summarised as follows:

There are enough variety of jobs that are available in the market. Some are high in demand in terms of time, others in terms of mental effort and still others in terms of physical effort. There are also other jobs available which are more relaxed, but obviously with a corresponding lower pay packet. It is up to the individual to choose what lifestyle he prefers.

Very often, I have seen women crying hoarse saying that their work place is not women-friendly. I have seen these very women neglect policies like 'work half hours for half pay'. Instead they expect to be paid the full salary for doing half the work and expect the bachelors or male colleagues to work extra hard !!

I am not a feminist and I agree that there may be different roles for men and women , but stereotyping is an equally problematic solution. Ideally, men and women should be allowed to pursue their dreams and the 'not so interesting' chores should be mutually shared within the family. By this I mean, if the lady wants to stay at home and look after kids the husband should be fully supportive and not treat her as if she is doing a lesser job...and in a similar vein if she wants to pursue her career she should be supported for that too...and the job of child rearing should be mutually shared. It is not fair to expect a profit oriented company or strangers to take care of your labour of love...

Workplace is meant to satisfy your professional ambitions, if you want to take time off, then realise your priorities and don't expect to get the best of all worlds while free riding on others ' shoulders !

Well, my colleague responded like most others "once you have a kid , then you will know..."..Well, when I was single and I used to hold these views, the "experienced" voices said "once you get married, then you will know...". I have gotten married to a wonderful and supportive guy who ensures that my professional dreams and my personal dreams are both satisfied...He shares the "burdens" equally...And so I never pass on my work to others, inorder to rush home...If I need to leave early, I plan my work accordingly.. I rarely ever mention my marital status at work...

After all I believe that support for women should begin from home and not from the workplace...

And I do hope that even after my kids arrive, they don't become an excuse for my laziness ! At the end of the day everyone has a choice - if life becomes hectic, one can always stay at home - it's an equally honorable choice !

And, I hope my friend marries someone whose dreams match his expectations of a wife's role !!!

Comments

Anonymous said…
I am afraid I dont agree with you. I have seen women asking for half day, half salary kind of an arrangement and no companies in India will allow that. There are no flexible jobs available in India. I personally know of many women who wouldn't mind a salary cut for more time off when their babies are small. But such an arrangement is never given because we are a nation that is needy for jobs and you know the saying 'beggars cant be choosers!'

Workplaces have to become women friendly like in the West, as the West has realised the value of family bonding for the well being of the child, the future citizen/employee.
Tinkerbells said…
@anon: your information is quite outdated. All three companies that I have worked for in India gives flexi work options. And anyday India has better realised the need for family bonding than the West !!!
alex said…
I believe the same. :)

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