In most cases when both the husband and wife are pursuing their respective corporate careers, a time comes when they need to decide who will sacrifice their career. In India, it is most common for social and other pressures to fall upon the woman to make the sacrifice. It is commonly believed that she has a bigger role in managing the house and looking after the children. Of late, I know of several cases where men have chosen to give up their careers to act primarily as care givers.

Such cases, I must confess, are exceptions rather than the rule. Another insight is that I find that in these cases the ladies concerned have reached very senior levels in their organisations. I don’t think the husbands would have been quite so understanding or accommodative had they been languishing at more junior levels.

In a sense, it is sad that educated and ambitious women begin their careers with a lot of zeal but have to give it up on becoming mothers. Be they doctors, engineers or other professionally qualified people, what a waste of talent to have them do nothing more than act as care givers.

The old biases are still there. Women continue to be asked to sacrifice their careers for the larger well-being of the family. These are borne out in the results of a recent survey by the management consulting firm, Bain & Co reported in the Times of India.