The following article is penned by Megha Tata, Managing Director, South Asia, Discovery. Megha is a media & entertainment industry veteran, in this letter she beautifully writes about the challenges that she and scores of working women have to overcome and presses on the point that it is about time that women can/ and should have it all.
I feel honoured and proud to represent a growing and strong community of women professionals, who are beautifully balancing the challenges of motherhood along with the relentless pursuit of their career goals.
After spending almost three decades in an industry where, fortunately, I have been privileged enough to rub shoulders with many such amazing, often unsung working mothers, I can confidently state that they are not only amazing in their work, but also determined and focussed individuals!
Even at Discovery, we take great pride in the richness of our diversity with 35% of our Asia Pacific Leadership Team constituting women, many of them mothers. Therefore when the opportunity to be associated with #BeingSerena presented itself, we did not think twice.
Besides being a gripping documentary on the life and travails of the world’s greatest ever tennis player- embracing motherhood, pursuing her tennis career as well as igniting new career dreams, it is also a celebration of the fighting spirit which embodies every working mother across the globe.
Being a working mother entails overcoming physiological, physical, emotional as well as in many cases societal challenges. What makes it even more difficult in countries like India is that in most cases the working mother population is in its first generation. Therefore, sound professional advice is also hard to come by. Often it is the social environment that one grows up in, which compels women to choose between motherhood and a good career. The time has come to permanently dispel the notion that both are mutually exclusive.
A lot has changed in the last three decades that I have been around, but even then #BeingSerena made me reflect upon the challenges that I myself had to overcome.
Listen to Megha Tata in conversation with Pavan R Chawla.
While there is definitely a lot more acceptance of working mothers amongst the corporate world at large, knowingly or unknowingly, they are still treated differently, not necessarily in a negative way always. Having experienced a differential treatment in my career at various points and having interacted with many other working mothers like me, I can strongly vouch for the fact that it only makes them stronger in the long run!
So I would urge all women harbouring doubts about being able to do to justice to both roles, to banish all such doubts and surge ahead. Speak your mind out, dispel any self-doubts, stand-up for what you believe in.
We at Discovery believe that it is very important to maintain a proper balance between personal and professional life without having to sacrifice one for the other. We have constantly motivated our team members to not just be workhorses but also follow their passions and spend quality time with their families and towards their personal goals.
It is time to move from an either/or world to an AND world!