Seven Deadly Sins For Working Women
According to Bible, the most deplorable acts that man can commit are envy, greed, lust, pride, gluttony, sloth and wrath.
While these sins may be applicable to men , I propose a different list of seven cardinal sins for women. We are in the middle of Women’s Day and Easter and this might be an apt occasion to release the new version of seven deadly sins applicable to working women.
1) Not reading news : Women have so many things to take care of – home, work, kids, relatives, self that there’s no time to even sit and take a deep breath.One of the first things that women give up is reading (or watching) daily news about the world, about politics, economy, business, environment, new technologies and general trends. Some women think that they don’t need to stay updated through news and some women don’t give it the priority it deserves. While almost all men will start their days with newspapers, women won’t even look at the newspapers for days together.
Irrespective of you being a working or non-working women, it is important that you are in touch with what’s happening outside of your personal comfort zone. Being in touch with the world is as important for you as for any man. Perhaps, even more. Even if you read nothing else, you must read the news. And with technology at your fingertips today, this is easier than ever. That brings us to sin no. 2
2) Not using Technology: The biggest beneficiary of today’s technologies – mobile phones, apps, internet, other home and kitchen gadgets should be women. It is strange that men who don’t have that much to do go gaga over technology because it is supposedly a man-thing to be tech savvy. Whereas women who can really ease up their lives if they knew and used technology, they somehow feel some inexplicable block towards technology. Most women don’t even use the gadgets they already own to its fullest extent. Like mixer-grinders. Most kitchen processors these days can handle more than one function. Surprisingly, most women just use it for its most basic grinding function.
Or take your mobile phone for example; there are apps and services that can solve a lot of your problems. There are apps for simple things such as reminding you of repeated tasks like giving medicine to kids, scheduling servicing of domestic appliances to ordering groceries, keeping track of what is available in the fridge for today’s meals, an app to connect you with all local Yoga enthusiast women and there’s even an app to tell you when the customer care exec has come back online after putting you on hold. Technology can save you time and free up your mind for other important things.
Technology is your best friend. Don’t be scared of it. Embrace it with open arms if you want to accomplish the fifty thousand things on your to-do list. This brings us to sin no. 3
3) Trying to be a superwoman: Efficient managers in offices know that however good an employee may be, he/she cannot handle everything. Similarly, it is almost impossible for a woman to handle everything perfectly. Learn to let go. You don’t have to look immaculate all the time and handle your work and kids perfectly and have a home that looks straight out of an interiors magazine and socialize and everything else too. This is a recipe for disaster, frustration and most often in women’s cases: guilt. It is important that you do not fall in the trap of superwoman typecasts created by media. Do what you feel is most important for you and that you can’t delegate. Delegate everything else. And what you don’t deem important and you can’t delegate, let that go. Reading News is important.
4) Worrying more about looks than your health: In the middle of fifty thousand things that a woman sets out to do, her own health takes a back seat. Take your back for example. There are very few women who don’t suffer from back-ache due to all the work in the office and at home. Even then, most women will take time out to go to the parlor for their regular pedicure and facial rather than visiting an orthopedist and doing regular exercise or even physiotherapy. Most women will always worry about a diet to lose weight but not visit their GP to see if their bodies need calcium / iron / vitamin supplements. (most Indian women need it !)
Be smart and prioritize well. Your health is your most critical resource, not blow-dried hair so much.
5) Not running your businesses professionally: A very big number of women these days start their own businesses after marriage or after having a child. This women-working-from-home industry is actually very big in India but it is not treated like one. The business-women themselves treat it like a hobby or a time-pass rather than serious business. They won’t form and register the company, won’t file IT returns, and won’t make use of laws, regulations and govt. support that can benefit them. Most of the times, the excuse is that the business is too small. But even small businesses can be run professionally, giving it the seriousness it deserves and also support from all concerned.
6) Running away from paperwork and ‘mathematics’: School results have proven time and again that girls are no less than boys in math. And in paperwork matters they could actually be better than men. But strangely enough, in financial matters or any matter that involves paperwork and / or numerical analysis; most women start feeling somewhat uncomfortable and would much rather that the men in the family handle that. This results in most women unable to do investments, financial planning etc for themselves and their businesses.
Don’t shrug it off without trying your hand at it just because traditionally men have taken care of financial matters. Remember, most large banks and financial institutions in India today are run by women CEOs.
7) Sowing the seeds of gender divide in children at an early age: Sometimes women do this unintentionally and without even realizing. Accepting their sons’ habits to keep the house dirty because boys are like that and expecting daughters to keep everything neat and clean because girls are supposed to clean up. Or by choosing art classes for girls and skating classes for boys. Choosing different kinds of books depending on if it’s a little boy or a little girl. And many other small things that go un-noticed.
Don’t make choices by gender. Choose by what your child’s interests are and what would you like your child to do irrespective of his/her gender. Gender bias begins very early and if we are not careful when kids are young, this cycle will take forever to break. Women as mothers can do a lot right in the formative years to not help build the biases that work against women in the long run.
What do you think are the other ‘sins’ that women commit against themselves making their own professional and personal lives difficult?