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Multitudes Collection

Next Story: Sam


On motherhood and representation

There's a lot to be unpacked about being a working mom in tech or any other industry. Mothers, in general, tend to overcompensate at work, especially now during COVID. As per the 2020 McKinsey & Company Women in the Workplace report, more than one in four women are considering "downshifting" their careers or leaving the workforce due to the pandemic. One of my goals this year is to work towards re-engaging women and moms back into the workforce who have been impacted by COVID.

Even today, we are still primary caretakers, regardless of how much progress was made towards more equal parenting prior to the pandemic.  We're still the ones who are working late at night after our kids go to sleep. Our partners try to help, but little kids still need their mothers biologically and emotionally - especially in the early days. 

I have demonstrated that I can be a high performer in these roles, but I overcompensate because I am a mother.

It is a difficult balance, however, and as a result I don't have time to feel right now.  I have a young child, an initiative that I'm really passionate about and an impact driven job from nine to five. My day starts at let's say nine o'clock. During my lunch I’m taking calls or doing something that I need to complete. Starting at 6 to 8:30 I spend time with my family. And that's when I try to factor in some amount of self-care by running, walking or doing something. Once my son's down, I go back to work until 12 or 1 and then the whole cycle starts over the next morning. It's not healthy to some degree, but honestly, I just try to stay focused on what I'm doing and keep going with it. Over time, I have demonstrated that I can be a high performer in these roles, but I overcompensate because I am a mother. I end up working until two o'clock or three o'clock in the morning, just to prove a point that being a mother is not a shortcoming.

I also think being an immigrant makes me more really resilient and adaptable. I'd also take it back to my roots. My father was a doctor in the army in India and every 3 years we would move to a new city. So, from a very young age I was exposed to different cultures within India and different languages (there’s more than 22 languages in the country). I think that was what acquainted me with being very adaptable in any country that I go to and learn how to navigate and build my career. 

It's important for everybody to be able to come to the table to ideate and innovate, because those solutions ultimately should serve everyone.

As a first-generation immigrant, I think this is quite common in some sense. We've left our homes, our friends, family and everybody we know. One thing that will stays with me in particular is my educational experience. I studied in a school that was immensely diverse. We were mixed with kids whose parents ranged from commanders all the way to the Javan, who are the frontline heroes of the country.  It didn’t matter what language you spoke, what the color of your skin was, where you came from or what level your parents were in the army. In school we were all equal. And I think that was the real foundation of who I am today. And I want that equity not just for myself but also for my child and for anyone else who comes to this country after me. 

Growing up, I was never made to feel that I was any lesser than my peers. As a result, I came to expect that I would do everything equally alongside my peers, that opportunities would be equal. But now as I grow older, I see that’s not true. Inequities exist everywhere. Whether we're talking about fem tech or in health tech with contraception or any sort of fertility treatments, there’s been little that’s changed in over a hundred years. Why? Or how women of color entrepreneurs do not have access to equal funding. Some of my other goals besides re-engaging women back in to the workforce though my work at Products by Women for this year is to support women led ventures and reduce gender inequality and pay parity that exists in tech today. In a recent conversation with a friend, I expressed how much disbelief I had that Apple took so freaking long to get a period tracker. Are you telling me that it took them so long to serve 50% of their population? It illustrates why diversity of leadership matters. It's important for everybody to be able to come to the table to ideate and innovate, because those solutions ultimately should serve everyone. 

I hope when my son grows up that he’s not dealing with the same exact issues that we are facing today, but I'm afraid that they will probably still be there. I try my best to give him perspective by making sure that the books he’s reading or anything that we are exposing him to has a lot of diversity. Creating an atmosphere for him to understand diversity is very important at such a young age. There has been a big shift in representation and we see more people like ourselves, which is great. Many years from now, there will be more people who are colored than not. I would like to expose him to schools with a lot of diversity and hopefully all of these efforts that I make will set him up to understand that it is important to think broadly because it’s part of who he is. I try my best to explain these things to him and I hope he is grabbing those little nuggets of wisdom, so that he too can drive change in the world.

Thank you for reading this story from the Multitudes Collection.

Our affirmation candles serve as a physical reminder to embrace your power. We donate 10% of revenues from our I Am Multitudes affirmation candle to the Radical Monarchs.

About Naimeesha

Naimeesha Murthy is an award winning inclusive Product Leader with over decade-long expertise in managing digital products from concept to completion.


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