This morning, I attended a rare technology forum where all the speakers were women. Some were founders, and some were executives of internationally renowned companies, all of them outstanding and talented women. These women also have families and children and face struggles in balancing work and family life. Therefore, today’s speakers were different from the male-dominated technology forums, as they did not focus on the latest or most popular technology. They all emphasized that we should know ourselves, what we like, and what we want. They also mentioned the unique characteristics of women, who tend to feel that they are not good enough, not prepared enough, or not qualified enough.
What impressed me the most was during the final interview session, when a journalist from BUSINESS NEXT asked these women if they had planned to become outstanding women in the workplace from an early age. To our surprise, all the women answered that they did not have such a plan. They only took each step seriously and thoroughly understood themselves.
As a woman who grew up under traditional thinking, but unexpectedly became the “Husband as homemaker, wife as breadwinner” family model because of my child, I understand why it’s important for women to first understand their passions. Being a career woman is often not supported by societal norms, and it’s only by finding happiness in our work that we can find the energy to persevere through the challenges of such a career.
Therefore, like Eunjoo Kim, a speaker who works at Google, who said that she did not intend to work in the United States originally. She only followed his husband, who needed to switch jobs. What she did was only to understand herself at every step, walk towards the direction she liked, work hard with passion, and then achieve her current success.
For me, my family role transformation was also a result of discovering that my child has special needs, which forced me to switch roles. Along the way, I deeply felt the impact of traditional thinking on our subconscious, which can greatly influence us. We may be pursuing a role that we don’t actually want to become, and sacrifice our careers. Or perhaps because we can’t find a good partner, even though we are in the workplace, our self-evaluation is low.
When we are not clear about what we are and what we want, We will feel like a candle burning at both ends, such as taking care of children, working outside, considering our husband’s feelings, and keeping ourselves beautiful. We can never do enough, and we cannot maintain a 25-year-old appearance and figure like celebrities, earn the same amount of money as our husbands and be economically independent, be a good mother, and also be a wise and virtuous wife.
It is precisely because women have too many choices now that we cannot have them all. We must recognize ourselves, what we are suitable for, what we want, what we can do, and what we like. Finding our own position is a prerequisite for being an outstanding woman.
CEO and Co-Founder at Women Who Code – Alaina Percival
Interview session by BUSINESS NEXT