Story of Shipra Bansal inspires Married Women Who Want to Work
- IWB Post
- June 9, 2015
While all of us, modern urban women, are raising voices for women’s rights and fighting for equality, the harsh truth is that we constitute hardly a bit of the population. I have always heard from my girl-friends about their mothers and grandmothers saying that it does not matter how much a woman studies, ultimately her career path will be decided by her husband and in-laws.
This thought itself was very disturbing to me, and hence I decided to meet Shipra Bansal, a 26-year-old, senior associate in client solutions, who tied knot last year with her loving husband Vaibhav Agarwal.
Tell us about your career.
After completing my MBA in finance from Bangalore, I started working in Citibank. Initially my mother did not allow me to work but then eventually, I got the permission because of my strong willpower. After working for a year, I came to Jaipur and started working in DCB Bank. I left my job a month before my marriage and didn’t continue for a couple of months. Now I restarted my career at HDFC Bank as a senior associate in client servicing which is my current job.
Have you faced difficulties switching jobs?
Yes, I had to go through the entire process of selection every time I joined a new organization. One needs a lot of patience while joining a new company, as each time you have to start everything from the scratch.
Why did you quit your job before marriage?
Because I wasn’t getting enough time for my marriage preparations. Also, I was skeptical if I would be able to strike a balance between my professional and personal life.
Interrupting in between, Vaibhav says: “I told her, you don’t have to leave your job but she wanted our wedding to be perfect and started preparing for it months before the D-day.”
“Yes, I was way too excited!”, laughs Shipra.
When you decided to rejoin work, how did your family react?
When my family saw that I am not happy sitting idle at home, they motivated me to start working again. Today they are very proud of me.
What do you have to say about the societal attitude towards working women?
Earlier gender roles after marriage were firmly set. The husband went to work to support his family, and the wife stayed at home and raised children. In those days, few women pursued a full time career before marriage, let alone after marriage.
Today, the situation is very different. There are plenty of women who are content to be housewives, and that is a perfectly valid choice to make, provided you make it yourself without pressure from your relatives. But for those who want to make a mark through their career, marriage does not necessarily really put a period on it.
We met at a relative’s house and fell in love. We dated for two years and then decided to get married.
How important is it to have husband’s support to pursue a career after marriage?
I think, it is not possible to pursue a career after marriage without family support. I am one of those lucky women who had a full support from her husband.
For others, discuss your hopes and dreams with your partner and ask about his views. In fact, it is better to be frank and upfront with your man even before getting engaged. After all, marriage is about sharing and having open communication. Most men today would prefer to marry career-oriented women, but the same may not be true for his family. So discuss and clear out everything before committing anything.
Vaibhav, describe your relationship with your wife.
We are an extremely solid team. She is my best friend, the person I want to grow old with. We have been together for a long time now and have been through the heavy stuff and fun stuff of life together. She is the funniest person I know.
How do you both spend your earnings?
Shipra: Whatever I earn, I save most of it and spend the rest on shopping for him.
Vaibhav: Yes, it seems to be really interesting for her. But think about me, She shops for me and I have to shop for her in return. You can easily guess the cost difference in our shopping. (laughs)
Shipra, how do you deal with the stress of your work life at home?
It is better to give your husband some time to relax after coming home before you open up your conversation about the problems bothering you. It is also good to find some ways of getting over your stress by putting on some music, singing along, going for walks if time permits (especially with your husband), doing some sort of exercises, etc.
What message would you like to give to inspire all those women who are working?
Even to be just a good wife and mother is by itself a very great responsibility. You have in addition taken on the task of working on a regular job to earn an income. Be proud of yourself!
Photography by: Nupur Agarwal