Indra Nooyi, the Pepsi CEO's interview in The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/why-pepsico-ceo-indra-k-nooyi-cant-have-it-all/373750/ on why women cant have it all has created waves. It always helps to have a role model, make full admission of the fact that there are severe challenges, guilt trips and the need to have a huge support system to build a strong career. Women across the world are overjoyed. It resonates - and we feel like we no longer need to feel apologetic about our trials and tribulations.
What resonated the most with was her description of the corporate clock and the biological clock and how they just do not synchronise.
But guess what, men can't have it all either. In my work on Women leadership in Asia, I work with the male leaders as well, because they usually the people who are the managers to the women leaders we are trying to groom. And, I see such an amazing trend when I talk to these senior executives. Most of them have spent over 25 years in the workforce and have had stellar careers.
- they are inevitably regretful of how much they have given to their careers and how little time they have spent with their families - either their children's development , spouses careers or in elder care.
- they wonder if "leaning out" is ever an option - because of the immense pressure of being the sole bread winner
- they believe that they've lived an uni-dimensional world, and now that the years have passed them by they wonder if they can have another life outside of work
- and finally they internally crave for similar "flexibility, holistic life and purpose" as their women counterparts
So, corporations please rise! Rise to the fact that the structured linear career progression is soon going to be a thing of the past. Families , work- life and motivations are rapidly changing - lets also listen to the men and if they want something different.
Kalpana Sinha is a Leadership and Organisation Professional. Her blog has reflections from her work experiences of over 20 years.