So you think the issue is better childcare. Or flexitime.
This email in response to my women vs career post comes from an 18 year old. And it gives you a glimpse of the 'advice' women receive from a very young age. A better description would be Brainwashing.
This young girl, a Bachelor of Mass Media student from Mumbai writes:
Maybe at a little to early a stage to respond... but some of my experiences take me to relating to your Blog Post. I am 18, struggling far and wide to make my place. Having 'n' number of projects and no defined schedule is a part of my life. And I totally Love it!
But then I realize, not so soon honey. I get advises from all sorts of apparently 'Practical' Mentors and Guides, to slow down a little.
"After all, you are a girl. you need a Job where you can settle,something more 9-5."
"You should be lucky enough to find a good husband who supports you, or this all is going to go for a waste".
I mean, hello, give me a break. Why do my career aspirations have to be defined on the possibilities of finding a good husband?
But aisa hai, and most women succumb very early. They fashion their lives and career with these warnings and hidaayats at the back of their mind.
Even those who do professional degrees - be it engineering, medicine or management - can hear the CD playing in their heads...
"Family first, me second".
"Children first, career second".
"Husband's career first, mine second".
You get the drift.
It is this deep-rooted social conditioning - visible and invisible - that is the real Enemy women have to battle. Every single day. In different ways.
The 18 year old is prepared to fight it out.
But anyways, 'It ain't enough to get me down Sir, you hear that!' is all I say. I am still going to go my way!
The energy and optimism of youth, unfortunately doesn't always last. And at every stage 'the husband factor' continues to haunt.
Here is the career dilemma of a young woman of 26, a software engineer with bigger dreams for her future. But...
Read your post Lipstick Jungle - Survival Guide, and here's my career story.
Currently 26 years old. Working as a software engineer in one of the MNC's where I am the small fish in the big sea. I want to change my career and get into Brand management of Luxury good (very niche field). Although I know what I want to do, I have a problem.
I don't want to do a normal MBA from India, for two reasons, one, I have no patience to crack CAT and get into an IIM. Two, I don't want to invest two years in studies. By the time I get out of college, which will start next year 2011, I'll be 28 years old. And I'll just be a "management trainee".
I'll need to work extra hard during this time if I have to prove myself, also since it's a niche field and since I don't have any background in branding or luxury goods, it'll be tough for me.
Also I'll have to get married by 28, as I will have to have a kid by 32 max. So MBA from India doesn't seem all that great. If I have to do MBA from some foreign university, I'll need to apply to European schools that have 1 year MBA. But also, MBA from abroad means minimum 30-40 lakhs of investment, meaning I'll have to take loan.
Again, if things turn out well, I get a job which helps me repay the loan, but by the time I am out and working, I'll need to get married. I don't know where I'll get married or where I'll have to relocate for my husband. Which means jeopardising my job which would help me replay the huge loan I'll be taking. I am quite confused. Any inputs?
On the one hand, I think J is being very 'practical', and it is better to approach a problem in the context of one's constraints. But I can't help thinking, had she been a male software engineer, 26 years old, none of these constraints would exist!
Anyways, on to more constructive advice. I think J is on the right track. A one year MBA from Europe, preferably France would be her best option. This article in Businessweek magazine has a lot of useful pointers.
As regards loan - well that is a risk anyone going for a foreign MBA must take. Given the vast potential of luxury retail in India (a market barely tapped, at present), the long-term prospects of a career in this sector are great.
As regards your husband, well, that is an X factor. Whether you remain in software or in luxury marketing, you may have to relocate. And you will probably take a 'baby break'.
So why not go for a career in a field which excites you? I think one positive thing I might add is that IMHO women do have an edge in luxury marketing, and in time you could easily go the consultant route as well.
Have faith, it will all work out but maybe not as neatly and logically as you might wish!
(Readers may add their own advice to J, especially anyone who has done a European MBA/ worked in the luxury market).
And all you women out there, do keep the stories, the issues and concerns, coming in. The email id is rashmi_b at yahoo.com