Can 'Women' have it all? - A very interesting question without a definite answer. Some may say ‘YES’ and most of them may say ‘NO’. I am trying to figure out to which side of the answer I belong. I am now hooked to a book ‘Power Play’ by Danielle Steel. A nice read and a beautiful comparison between 2 CEO’s, Ms Fiona Carson and Mr Marshall Weston. These two powerful CEO’s of leading companies lead different lives as a human being. They play a double role - Tough, subtle, crisp, sharp as CEO’s but tender, emotive, humans after all at home. Not revealing more about the book but would like to emphasise more on Fiona’s life as a loving caring, sensitive, career oriented single mother. Was married to David for almost seventeen years and then divorced...she just finds this as a perfect life! I really got an insight of her strength, determination and the balance she tries to set in her work-home life when she is about to attend a board meeting to discuss a serious matter – leaking of news which could have proven to be a potential harm to the reputation of the company directly affecting the stock market and her phone rings. It’s her daughter Alyssa who declares that she would like to borrow her skirt for going on a date. It just took me a few minutes to realize that it does take a strong mind to tackle these two different issues…act like a CEO when needed and be a Mother to your kids. For Alyssa- a young bubbly girl, it is all about a ‘skirt’ who only is concerned about her date but for Fiona it is beyond this – a dual act and she has to come out with an appropriate solution in both the situations.
The author Danielle Steel has tried to convey that Women at higher positions or 'Power' try very hard to prove themselves as an ideal Mum, Employee, Entrepreneur and don't go Crazy rather with a firm head on shoulders progress with dignity.
Interestingly, I read an article about Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO. For me Fiona is just a fictional character for a story and lives a life which has been created by the author but Ms Nooyi is a living, real Mother and a CEO. A mother to 2 daughters, she shared her thoughts about the ‘guilt’ when she never made it for the coffee mornings at her daughter’s school. How she was sent to get some milk by her Mother at that night when the board decided to appoint her as the CEO. She even confessed that she wasn’t sure if their daughters might regard her as a ‘Best Mother’. She owes her success to her extended family which actually consists of her office staff, friends and family. She beautifully framed a difficult feeling into words – ‘Biological clock and career clock are just complete conflicts!’ When you have to raise your career then you also have to raise your kids. I couldn’t agree more to this. She engaged her staff for instance; her secretary was provided a questionnaire for her daughter. Whenever her daughter rang up to speak to Mummy for her permission to play a game, the secretary would check if she completed her homework and few other questions. If the answers were appropriate as decided by her CEO Mum then she got the permission to play the game. To the question if ‘Can you have it all?’ she spontaneously answers ‘No’! The reason is every moment, every decision puts you in a situation where you are bound to think that you are a Mother, Wife, Daughter, Daughter-in Law and at last CEO…so you can never have it all.
While I am still hooked to ‘Power Play’ and totally impressed by Fiona but I can’t stop adoring Ms Nooyi for her role as a CEO and Mum. Women like her are a role model for many and such honest confessions from such a strong ‘Woman’ only boosts our spirits and inspires us to achieve our dreams and aims but with a BALANCE without a guilt. Millions of Women worldwide, sole bread earners or working for their dreams, highly paid or less paid, high profile jobs or low profile jobs, for that matter a home-maker too deserve a lot of appreciation and support to bring out the best in them. Though we can’t have it all but a positive approach towards it is the key to success.
There is a role model in every Woman
Finally, a bit of Fiona and Indra Nooyi does exist in every Woman!