Struggles being part and parcel of the life of a career oriented woman who also has family responsibilities, it is not any different for celebrities and achievers, reveals Author Sudha Menon. In an interview with Careerindia on her latest book 'Devi, Diva or She Devil - The smart career woman's survival guide', she shares insights on the lives of prominent successful women like Mary Kom, Farah Khan, Leena Nair, Rohini Iyer and many others who battled their way into their career goals, waded through the struggles and won over it. The title of the book suggests that people might label women into one of these categories - a homemaker, a show off or an arrogant boss, but she can be all of it and it is possible for her to be so.
The ordinary lives of extraordinary career-oriented women
"Mary Kom took her maternity break when she had children and did the household chores that every other woman does. When I wanted to meet Farah Khan, she told me that I could not meet her prior 10.30 am as it was the time when she had to prepare her triplets to the school," says Sudha explaining that celebrities were not people who can shy away from their family duties.
But with a busy family life, how they managed to shine brightly with their careers is what her book talks about. Unravelling the methods that these big wigs followed to stay in their desirous arena she quips that they talked their children into it when they were made guilty for leaving their children behind during their work timings. "Farah Khan said that she explained her children the importance of her career by making them aware that they could go on expensive holidays only if she made satisfactory earnings by working."
What change should happen for women to be successful in career?
Women must understand that anything is possible in their life and tell herself that she is the master of her destiny.
What about family support?
To this, she quotes from the tips given by First Female Chief Human Resource Officer of Unilever Leena Nair in her book, "Choose your spouse effectively." Being a valid point that every married woman can testify, even when Onler Karong proposed Mary Kom, the first question that she asked her now husband was "What about my career?" To this Onler replied, "I will be the one who would motivate you every morning to work for it." The rest is now history!
What about the hurdles that come in the way of women to pursue their career?
When Mary Kom grew up, she was told that she was not equal to a man. When she was married, the women in the neighbourhood taunted her for being a boxer and tried to pull her down. She even considered quitting many times when guilt overshadowed while leaving back the kids. But struggles are the way of life and getting where you want to be going is the whole essence of living, Menon quotes Kom, oozing out the positivity.
Menon's book is a set of stories by several other successful women and their endeavours to make it to the limelight. It is a self-help book for all those women who are stuck in the maze of life, trying to make a decision on their career choices and seeking to get clarity by learning about the lives of other successful women.