Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Next Genderation...and an Aha! Moment!

For the fact that I work in the Bay Area (a dozen years) and have had the dubious pleasure in two of the companies I worked at of being the only woman Product Management Lead...I have to say with a certain amount of regret that I haven't really been to any of the conferences hosted by PBWC. This year was a marked change...I was at The Next Genderation conference in Moscone. My first thought on walking in - (a) Holy Shit! this is a lot of women (~ 4000)  Second Thought - Dang! my hair is short ( hey if you were looking for something more than sheer vanity look elsewhere...seeing all these women with their lovely tresses was intimidating...I understand now why K1 rolls his eyes every time I come back after a hair cut)...Vanity aside I think this conference gave me a lot of food for thought...I got to see live on the stage successful women who were sharing the "secret sauce" it Jackie Speier talking about keeping a close network of friends who would remain with you no matter what ; to Sheryl Sandberg asking us to lean gorgeous Rita Moreno who at 81 defined Joie de Jennifer Granholm who told us to take on the hard challenges...whether we succeed or fail, we will surely learn from them.

 My head is whirling with all the things I heard...some were immensely helpful and others I will soon forget. I loved  the session on body language where I learnt not to tilt my head while listening (you are acting submissive)...don't smile too much...don't fiddle with your hair or jewellery ( doesn't apply to me ;-) )...don't nod your head ( M told me about that one a week back,  nodding your head like tilting your head is an act of submission, I am trying so hard to internalize it...but it is a cultural thing you see...most Indians are Bobble heads...) aha! moment came    afterwards on a long cold walk with is what I realized : The secret sauce that worked for one successful woman can bring another woman abject is my example...when I had life changed dramatically yet instead of taking my leg off the pedal...I ahem! leaned in...I took a new role which played into my area of expertise...pretty sure I would crack the code and nail it...what those 9 months taught me was humility and an acceptance that sometimes leaning in doesn't need to lean back and get your priorities in order...(and my priority then was my baby...and no I couldn't afford to use the next door office as a nursery)...I chose to join as a smaller fish in a bigger pond and what an experience that was...and guess what I loved my job and got to spend time with K2 (there were no sacrifices or compromises just finding out what worked for me).So find your secret might help you : become a CEO,  write a book, raise a happy, healthy and well-adjusted child or something as touchy-feely like finding peace/happiness...

What else did I do today - K1, K2 and I whipped up a quick 30 minute dinner that looked like this...

For the curious - it was Khichidi made with brown basmati rice, whole moong  dal and Garbanzo beans, a simple moong sprouts salad and Palak a friend says it - Life is good!

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