Yesterday I went to see my doc and on an impulse asked her how she managed her kids and career when the kids were small. The most important thing, she said, was that she had a lot of support from her family, husband and nannies. She also worked flexibly during the early stages and believed that whatever little she was doing, though frustrating at that time, was contributing to her career for the longer term.
As I mulled over the pearls of wisdom and thought about how I could apply them to my life, I wondered if men get asked these questions. I thought back to all the interviews I’ve seen and I couldn’t remember a single interview of a man where he was asked this question. Whereas, almost every interview with a woman with kids had questions around this. Whether it was Michelle Obama or Indira Nooyi, they were asked the same question. And while I think that it is so important for young women with kids who want to have a career to have such answers, to have such role models because there are so few out there, it speaks volumes about how it’s still a ‘women’s issue’ that she needs to look after her kids even if she has a career.
As I was thinking about all of this, I came across an article of this guy who has chosen to step down from the post of a CEO to be more with his kids (http://maxschireson.com/2014/08/05/1137/) And I went wow, we need more men like these and kudos to him. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but think that if it were a woman, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal, in fact it would have been the expected thing to do.
But then…small steps and every step needs to be celebrated.