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Eshwari Murugan on Succeeding Against All Odds

May 10, 2019
Working full-time and raising kids is hard. Plus, you want to ensure that you give your child all the love and attention you can when they are growing up, says Eshwari Murugan, Senior Vice President - Actuarial at HDFC Life.

For several years, mothers around the world have experienced a lot of struggles. After all, choosing between their family and their career is not an easy task. They are in a constant tug-of-war between handling responsibilities at home and work. This often leads to women taking long breaks from work or abandoning their professional ambitions and career goals.

But, in today's world, things have changed. More and more women are joining the work force and standing up for their rights and place in society. Eshwari Murugan is one of the women who is seemingly leading the change. She started working as early as 1990, but after her son was born, her Actuarial studies had to take a bit of a backseat. For 10 years, Eshwari focused more on her family than her career. But once she knew that her son was starting to become independent, she jump-started her career with renewed vigour. She balanced her study time with her son's and shares humorous instances of how her son wondered what's the big deal in these exams if calculators can be used and the quizzing expressions on his friends faces when he told them that his mom was studying.

After spending 16 years at LIC and looking after various portfolios, Eshwari made the move to HDFC Life in 2006. She started as an Actuarial trainee, but she worked her way up and today, she's the Senior Vice President. When questioned about the importance of a good support system, Eshwari says, It is so important to receive strong support from your family. I wouldn't be where I am without the support of my husband and my son. But family support isn't enough. She adds, It is equally important to find a workplace that comprises good mentors and understanding colleagues who make things easier for working mothers. Thankfully, I have been lucky in this area.

Today, even the Indian Government has realised that women should be encouraged and supported in their endeavour to work outside their houses and become financially independent. This is after realising that women form 50% of the country's population and their income could lead to a big leap in the GDP. But the question here is, what is the government or corporate organisations doing to help?

Unfortunately, our country is still not equipped with job opportunities that make it easy for mothers to balance their lives and work without feeling like they are trying too hard. On this, the SVP says, I feel organisations should not have any prejudices or negative bias towards women. In fact, they should encourage women to contribute in any way they can. Certain roles should be customised to enable a woman to work in a manner that best suits her.

For years, we have seen women constantly juggling the demands of work and home. Most mothers are often one step away from seeing the house of cards they have carefully constructed crash and fall down. So, what do you do to make this better?

Eshwari believes, There is no way you can do everything with perfection. A perfect work-life balance does not exist. Hence, it is best to prioritise things. Her advice to young women is to choose what they think is best for them and their family.

Let's take a minute to acknowledge the contribution that women, and especially mothers, make towards building a better world. Let's make way for the future and take inspiration from women like Mrs. Murugan, who succeeded against all odds.

ARN: ED/05/19/13795


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