“The dawn of globalization has opened up great avenues for business models and they are no longer perceived as male or female-dominated. Today, the emphasis is given to what an individual has to offer and how his/her ideas contribute to the bigger picture without any focus on gender." This is India 2.0 for you! An era where abilities are preferred over academics and grind is preferred over gender classification. This is the India that our ancestors must have envisioned back then, although we are still far from the ultimate destination - women in our country have come a long, long way. From being a housewife or the breadwinner to becoming the 'Queen of all trades, and master of all' - this has been about the women in the country. Today, on the eve of international women's day - let's talk about the work life balance that's an important issue among entrepreneurs whether it be men or women especially women who have to manage through the household chores as well, acing another responsibility to perfection seamlessly. It is tough being a women, indeed. Let's see what the women in the house got to say on this.
Mrs. Sujata Chitalwala Principal Designer at Designers Group
It’s a common perception in India that it is solely a woman’s responsibility to look after her children and other members of the family. Especially in the case of married women, she is expected to strike a fine balance between her business and family duties. Both men and women must understand that an equilibrium has to be established to empower women and make sure that nothing holds her back. With the support of her family, a woman can achieve the zenith of success. My family has been extremely encouraging and favoured every decision , guiding me from time to time and providing me with extreme support at all times. My husband and kids have been the pillars of my strength and have stood up for me through thick and thin. Parent entrepreneurs have dual responsibilities to their businesses and their families; finding ways to devote time to both is vital for securing an elusive work-life balance.
Ruchi Jhawar, Co-Founder at Cogitus and Anju Modi, Co-Founder at Cogitus
Thinking ahead, Better planning, making a calendar of events and being open about taking help from people around you without feeling shy! A lot of times, women spend times on activities which can be done easily by families pitching in. Also women need to know that sometimes it’s ok to not be around if work takes priority. Following your passion can be a way of life while maintaining a work and home balance. In our case we also see our kids taking pride in their moms work!
Srishti Baweja, Director at E2E Networks
Failure seems obvious, sometimes. Pressure and stress will be inevitable. It’s hard to stop these things from happening. You should build relationships, mental strength, and coping mechanisms to deal with these issues better. As far as I could see, there is no clear-shot solution that can work. After all, we’re all different in our own ways. It’s a work in progress to manage and improve how you do at home and work. Perfection is a mirage. But you can become better than yesterday through constant effort and progressive learning.
Mrs. Nishtha Gupta, Co-founder at Rein Games
I recently finished a book - Mother of All Jobs by Christine Armstrong. I loved it so much that I gifted to my sister-in-law who was expecting.
After reading that book I was filled with gratitude and I thanked that I got the right support from my family and my company after having twins. As a mother of twins and an ambitious career-oriented woman, I can tell you that managing both home & work is not an easy task and it never gets easier.
You can't choose your family, your partner but choosing the right company in advance can be a boon. Just like you do in your relationships, look for the signs on whether the company cares or not.
Is your input valued, are your given regular feedback, is your appraisal done is time, are individuals favored more than the collaborative teamwork - well these are some signs to look out for! Build your equity with a company that trusts and respects employees.
Saumya Kaushik, Founder at Growup Technologies
Every day, I see to it that in my organization, women who work from home or from anywhere in the world are able to get monumental results by the means of remote working. This concept of remote working has been introduced through the advent of my organization. I believe this concept is here to stay and in today’s era, it is revolutionary.
Remote working gives women an opportunity to work. It does not make them compromise on their career but provides an alternative and efficient solution that can help manage their work and personal life. These women that we hire, I believe, bring credible experience from their own corporate journey. We give them the chance and means to apply it to real-time experience, here at Growup Group by working for the various breadth of times that we offer here.
Vedaxari Joshi, Founder at All 'bout Communication
Well, unlike men, women do have to decide if they want to continue with their career or not. When it comes to men, they are never expected to quit their job because they got married or had a kid. It is hard for women comparatively to have a family and a career going hand in hand without them feeling guilty about it. However, PR & journalism have a lot of women having both aspects going well for them simultaneously. In general, women even today are constantly given a choice to drop out of their careers. I feel if a girl is passionate about her work, in urban settings she still will find her way. In rural settings on the other hand, the first step is education. Only an educated woman can be well informed of her choices and will be truly empowered.
Ms Sapna Khakharia, Director at The CANVAS Design
Dividing your time equally for your business and family is very important for a working woman. Set aside 30 minutes each week and 15 minutes each day to plan your time and schedule, including the most important goals, tasks and appointments. Situations change, and new opportunities can be both urgent and important. Be flexible and willing to change your schedule and reprioritize it to accomplish something that is most important.
Dr. Pooja Chhabra, Co-Founder at Nuskay Skincare
Working women find themselves pulled in multiple directions. There are work and home, and a multitude of things in between – with roles as diverse as being a wife, an entrepreneur, or a leader. I see so many women entrepreneurs delaying their family plans or becoming so engrossed with their businesses that they don’t nurture other essential relationships. There will never be a “right time” to try and have it all. My suggestion is to never neglect relationships be it family or one’s own self. I’ve had my business for almost a year, and I always try to set work hours and sticking to them. I never fail to give myself a little me time where I do a little self-introspection. It helps me in understanding aspects I need to focus on and plan things accordingly.
My advice to all working women is to have an understanding of their strengths and how to play them. Prioritizing things and effective time management helps a lot in striking balance between home and work.
Meha Bhargava, Founder at Styl.Inc
When the mind is set right, we can overcome all obstacles. We maintain a very healthy atmosphere at the office, and advise them to have the same at their respective homes. Being organised, time management, stress management is what we educate other corporates that we work with, and hence having all those qualities instilled in our own company is very imperative.
When I’m conducting workshops or seminars, I maintain the fact that as a woman we need to have our priorities right.
- Priority number one being, to understand ‘why do you want/have to work
- Prioritizing work with respect to home, family and kids.
- Accepting the fact that the guilt will never leave you.
- Being 100% present to wherever you are, be at work or be at home with your family or with yourself.
- Why do you think there must be at least one female co-founder?
Ms. Geeta Ramakrishnan, ontological coach and Author
Without any doubt its a challenge for our society. Planning your day, enrolling your family in the household chore, learning to say ’No’, defining your boundaries and most important accepting love and care makes this an easy juggle.
Sadiya Khan, Founder at Akund Communications
Let me be upfront here - it’s not easy. Working women face a sharper critique from both the industry and the home environment as they struggle to conquer both. The ideal way to do this is to sharpen your focus on a few core areas.
For example, I had read entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg’s piece on picking three things that one wants to work with on a day-to-day basis and then focus on those, rather than running after everything. For me, these things are Akund Communications, my family and my health - which is why I can do it well.
Karishma V Mangal Director and Trustee Thakur International School - Cambridge
Ask for help! Seriously we need not be doing everything. The system where a woman had to balance both work and home is a bit jaded. But we all know it is a very complex task and it is also mentally draining. At work, I feel it is a practical choice to recruit the best, groom them into the appointed roles so they may perform efficiently, delegate tasks that do not necessarily require my decisions. Managing a home is about being there, actively present with family members and not bringing work related stressors and picking new adventures and fun. But follow a schedule for both home and work, plan your mindfulness and plan for your productivity.
Aditi Olemann, Co-founder Myelin Foundry
I think working women – from business to research to all other fields they are in, have been doing a phenomenal job in balancing work and home. There are key aspects according to me that help with this balance:
- The ability to compartmentalize work and home
- The ability to multi-task without getting stressed out
It is, ofcourse, very important for working women to have supportive partners and family members who are ready to share the responsibilities at home.ways to devote time to both is vital for securing an elusive work-life balance.
Kavita Mehta, Founder & CEO at Caymus
Accepting that neither side of the equation (home and work) will ever be “perfect” (actually, what is in life?) is the first step to managing a holistic life. Beyond that, building support systems and processes helps a lot.
For example, my husband and I have a deal: Monday to Thursday the kids look to me for any questions that need to be answered but come Friday to Sunday, dad is the one who manages schedules, questions, homework help, and so on.
Also, if you have children, enlist their help in meal planning, making calls for appointments, writing cheques and so on. With a little oversight and some training, they can be great support for the entire family and in the process, feel empowered themselves.
Kanika Trekriwal, Founder & CEO at JetSetGo Aviation
Effective goal-setting and an uncluttered mind always lead to a productive day. Plan ahead so you always know what to cross off your list next. It helps in identifying what work is on priority and what can be planned for-the next day. It is always better to avoid taking multiple goals without any specified plan, this can often lead to frustration and guilt. It cannot be wrong to advice keeping the house work on weekends and dedicating weekdays to work without overlapping. Also, Multitasking and lots of self – confidence can do wonders!
Aditi Olemann ,co-founder of a deep tech AI company Myelin Foundry
I think working women – from business to research to all other fields they are in, have been doing a phenomenal job in balancing work and home.
There are key aspects according to me that help with this balance:
- The ability to compartmentalise work and home
- The ability to multi-task without getting stressed out
It is, of course, very important for working women to have supportive partners and family members who are ready to share the responsibilities at home.
Tina Garg, CEO at Pink Lemonade
Organization, support, and the right mindset are the key to some order here.
First, plan to be organized. Pre-order and subscribe to services that allow you to remove mundane tasks off your list. Weekly supplies of vegetables, staples to the house or menus for the meals and tiffin boxes during a working week can help maintain some order. Set a routine and follow it.
Support from neighbors, friends, family and domestic helpers is critical. Work this support out for yourself and life can be easy enough. Thinking you can do without some help and adding that burden to your day is a no-no. Plan for peace of mind and leave the support system to take care of it.
Build a mindset that's attuned to reality. You can't be the best in every sphere of life. It pulls you in all directions. Prioritize work or home depending on the life stage you are at and plan to accelerate or slow your career basis that. If work is your priority, don't sweat the small stuff where the home is concerned. Pick up the pieces when you have time and see what's manageable.
Dipali Mathur Dayal, CEO and Co-Founder at Super Smelly
Not just co-founders, I believe that for every male CEO, there should be a female CEO, for every male CFO there should be a female CFO, and so on. Today, women are nearly 50% of India’s population, but only 20% are a part of the workforce and a minuscule 7% of them make it to c-suite jobs. It is not possible for India to grow at a rate of 9-10% with only about half of its population contributing to the economy.
Aditi Dhanu, Founder at Wear Syzygy
Harmonizing a work relationship with a personal life is key. However, it's the most difficult to achieve. Having to balance work related stresses, deadlines along with family and personal relationships while having a social life.
Having a healthy balance of both is what keeps me going. It's all about creating a routine.
I approach work and my personal life as one cohesive unit. Segregating and compartmentalizing both leads to guilt when one takes up more space than the other. One can’t function for me without the other. I put as much of me in my work as I do in my personal life. That leads me to having a strong brand identity - an extension of who I am as a being. Luckily my work accommodates space for flow of my personality and encapsulates it.
Communication is key. I communicate with my staff, family and friends regarding the work pressures, goals and achievements.
Shobhana Sriram- Co-Founder and CTO of Quick Ride
Managing both home and work is not easy but a good work-life balance is essential and requires cooperation from all sides, including family and colleagues. My family has been supportive throughout my professional life and I have to say I have an incredible team that supports me. This allows me to work from home from time to time, thereby giving me quality time with my family and saving me from spending valuable time commuting to work.
The role of Indian women in the past has revolved around the home, thereby making most women adept at multitasking. This multitasking ability is reflected in our professional lives and while managing work and home might not be easy, our fortitude helps allow us to find a balance between the two.
Ms. Aarti Gill, Co-founder of OZiva
It’s easier said than done. But here are two things that really help - first is about clearly defining priorities & second is investing in your health. If you are healthier & fitter - both physically & mentally, you are able to work more efficiently and manage different tasks.
Ayushi Gudwani, Founder, Fabletreet
As women, perhaps our greatest trait is multitasking. There is no 9 to 5 for us - we are always working, from managing deadlines to running errands. At times, work takes precedence over our personal lives and vice-versa. I suggest you find a balance around that. Taking a step back and switching off for a while also helps. I personally do CrossFit or indulge in Thai food when I need to take a break.
Sangita Desai, Co-Founder, Raw Nature
My belief is that “the more you endure, the more you can perform, and the more you perform, the more is endowed upon you". It’s a juggle, defining priorities, time management and discipline. "What you gotta do, you gotta do". It has its own challenges, but there is no escape. Work empowers you, gives you satisfaction and a sense of achievement which drives you to juggle both the roles with equal passion. My belief is that “the more you endure, the more you can perform, and the more you perform, the more is endowed upon you". It’s a juggle, defining priorities, time management and discipline. "What you gotta do, you gotta do". It has its own challenges, but there is no escape. Work empowers you, gives you satisfaction and a sense of achievement which drives you to juggle both the roles with equal passion.
Mona Dahiya, Co-Founder and Director at Homefoodi
To start with, one should set their priorities. Secondly, plan to meet these priorities and calendarize them as much as possible. Thirdly, accept and acknowledge that you can’t do everything and hence delegate some things to others. Thanks to the technology, knowing the well-being of your loved ones isn’t a challenge anymore as we are connected at all times.I urge every woman to take some time out for themselves and do things that they really love. It is the only secret to maintain a perfect work-life balance.
Ease of management both at home and work is at the heart of Homefoodi. Our chef application allows every Home Chef to manage their businesses with the comfort of a few clicks, be at home or at work. All Home Chefs have the freedom to decide the days of operation, timing, listing, pricing and even promotions. Our Chef Application was made after extensive feedback received from Women to address their challenges both at home and work.
Pavithra Rao, Cofounder and VP at Growth and Revenue, WaterScience
My first recommendation is to have a job you like. When you have a job you like, you are a much happier person at home too. The second recommendation is to prioritise- We tend to get caught up in things that take up a lot of time and don’t really provide much value- this is true not just for work. It becomes much easier if one has a good support system.