It is 2016 and women have proved time and again that there is nothing that they cannot accomplish. But isn’t that kind of the point, that women still need to ‘prove’ it?
Although women have always come out shining from this work-life struggle, it must be admitted that the struggle is real. This is mostly because there are clear-cut roles for women. It hardly matters if she is the CEO of a multinational company or a modest homemaker, she still has to look after the family and take care of the chores.
It must be admitted that this is gradually changing, but there is a long way to go before men and women share the load of household chores and responsibilities equally. We can say it over and over again but it will not be enough. So, take it from someone who knows that the struggle is real. In an interview to David Bradley, Indra K Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, very candidly narrates what happened when she broke the news to her mom about bagging the position of the President of the company. She says:
I got home about 10, got into the garage, and my mother was waiting at the top of the stairs. And I said, “Mom, I’ve got great news for you.” She said, “let the news wait. Can you go out and get some milk?”
I looked in the garage and it looked like my husband was home. I said, “what time did he get home?” She said “8 o’clock.” I said, “Why didn’t you ask him to buy the milk?” “He’s tired.” Okay. We have a couple of help at home, “why didn’t you ask them to get the milk?” She said, “I forgot.” She said just get the milk. We need it for the morning. So like a dutiful daughter, I went out and got the milk and came back.
I banged it on the counter and I said, “I had great news for you. I’ve just been told that I’m going to be president on the Board of Directors. And all that you want me to do is go out and get the milk, what kind of a mom are you?”
And she said to me, “let me explain something to you. You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother. You’re all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don’t bring it into the house. You know I’ve never seen that crown.”
It is not only the story of Nooyi, it is basically the story of every woman who is struggling to balance her work and personal life in a nutshell.
It does not look like this issue can be solved for some time but till then we must keep struggling against all odds and make sure as hell that we get that damned crown home.