Advertisment

Found Again: Real Stories Of Indian Women, Work And Flexibility

Mothers have been glorified throughout history for their virtues, patience and sacrifice. That motherhood plays an important role in shaping an individual, family and society is indeed true, and needs to be seen and acknowledged more.

author-image
Bhana
Updated On
New Update
Found Again
Mothers have been glorified throughout history for their virtues, patience and sacrifice. That motherhood plays an important role in shaping an individual, family and society is indeed true, and needs to be seen and acknowledged more.
Advertisment

What about the human-ness of the person whom we call mother though? What if we laud her for questioning the norms, and embracing her failures? What if we notice her resilience, own her conflict, and the choices that were born out of them? What if we encourage her on her every journey, even if it runs on the parallel tracks of constraint and choice?

Written by the cofounders of FlexiBees, Shreya, Deepa and Rashmi, the book contains twenty stories of twenty women, each different, and each compelling.

Found Again

Nowhere are such conflicts and choices captured as vividly and poignantly as in FlexiBees’ book Found Again: Real Stories of Women, Work & Flexibility. This book is a culmination of the work of FlexiBees, a company that has been serving women professionals - especially mothers after a career break. Over more than half a decade, FlexiBees has helped these talented women land roles that matched their experience and skills and, more importantly, their flexibility needs. Designed primarily as part-time and remote, the roles allow women to have a career while staying involved across the larger spectrum of life.

According to the authors, "Each journey takes us through a landscape where personal motivations continually interact with professional goals to create unique trajectories. Many of them are the women we call "missing". The same women who broke academic records in a new India entered our workplaces with high hopes and then dropped out of the workforce. They are women who took tough decisions and stood by them. Who walked the treacherous paths of "returnship" and lived to tell the tale. Who built careers that fly in the face of conventional wisdom, be it by constraint or choice."

The foundational pillar of this book is the in-depth interview conducted with each woman protagonist to unravel the many layers of struggle, hope, persistence, and victory that she had been through before she made it back to work in a flexible way.

Advertisment

Starting with the story of Neti, a salesperson who had spent many years trying to get back to work after a maternity break. Bouncing like a pendulum between hopeful interviews and rejections, Neti's confidence levels had taken an all-time hit in trying to convince prospective employers of her ability to work after a career break.

Regaining her confidence in little steps while upskilling herself and networking, Neti had to let go of an opportunity that required her to be out of her home for 10-12 hours daily. She had to reject the chance because it did not suit her lifestyle, but this experience gave her confidence back and ultimately led her to find a flexible role that also respected her skills.

Then there is Swati, a mother who decided to become single when she realised her marriage would not create an ideal environment for the child growing up. On the one hand, she needed financial independence to care for her daughter. However, she also had to provide more emotional support to her daughter, to compensate for the unkindness society would sometimes mete out to the child of a single mom. A job was needed, but so was flexibility.

It is inspiring to read how Swati worked for a friend in an unrelated sector yet learnt much about digital marketing through hands-on practice. Supplementing herself with certifications and experience, she eventually made a mark for herself in the field of her choice. All the while nurturing her daughter's growth the way she wanted it.

Gripping Real Stories of Women from Various Parts of India

The book moves on to other protagonists from Tirunelveli to Delhi, Jamnagar to Visakhapatnam. While there is a diversity among the protagonists on geographic location and the function they are from - be it Sales, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Finance, Technology, Graphic design, or HR- another kind of diversity is reflected in the stories too.

Advertisment

That of the changing demographic of women who are thinking about flexibility seriously. Apart from caregivers and mothers for whom flexibility to balance work and life is an existential need, there is also the need for the soul to work freely, and have varied interests.

The stories of Vidushi, Sanjana, and Kavita show this. The power of insatiable curiosity, the courage to follow their soul, and the significant ways flexibility has helped them stay sane, and embrace the finer things in life that lend meaning.

Written primarily to motivate women who may have given up hope to find a meaningful career after a break, "Found Again" is a timely book inspired by the personal stories of the protagonists while giving practical advice without being pedantic.

This book would help anyone looking to find a better balance between their work and personal responsibilities. While encouraging employers who are interested in creating a more flexible and supportive work culture, with inspiring nuggets and quotes from others who have done it successfully before them.

Authored by cofounders of FlexiBees, Shreya, Deepa and Rashmi.

#OwnItAll is FlexiBees’ tribute to mothers, asking them to own all they have been through, all they have been, and all they ever wanted to be. This Mother’s Day, SheThePeople is proud to collaborate with FlexiBees to help bring stories of women who embraced challenges, took charge of their lives and returned to work, one way or another.

Advertisment

Suggested reading: Challenges Women Face In Returning To Work After An Extended Break

Flexibees #OwnItAll mother's day women and workplace Mother's Day 2023 Found Again
Advertisment