Following an inner purpose
"Preeti, you can't decide to leave India without getting married, it's for your own security!"
I was 19 and considering options for my future. I adored my parents, yet for some reason, this time I could not palate their advice. That was the first time I was aware of social limits laid on me because of my gender and local social traditions in India at that time. At that crossroad of making my first real life decision somewhere deep down, it was clear to me – I wanted to be different.
As a young trainee, at Ericsson, I joined a team of 20 specialists, experts, and senior experts. The average age of the team was more than 40. I felt I represented several minorities all at once, gender, nationality, age and work experience, with the addition that I didn't speak Swedish. Curious and odd questions never bothered me: "Preeti, you are a vegetarian, how did your brain get its proteins?" or "Did you ride a bullock cart to school in India?"
What I first thought could have been a disadvantage turned out to be an advantage. I had the unique opportunity to be taught by the best! As the wisest of them said, "If you make your contributions with the purpose that we should succeed as a team and never attach your ego to your work, you will go a long way." My learning was not limited to Ericsson's technology heritage as my colleagues helped me acquaint myself to the local culture and language. I felt adopted and included!
With a busy work schedule and as a mother of two boys, I hope my sons learn from their father on how to pave the way for their women to find harmony between their personal and professional lives. With the support of my family, I have lived in 4 countries and have travelled much more than I planned back when I was 19.
Diversity goes beyond gender and beyond celebrating International Women's Day. It is about actively seeking balance each day to keep our mindset young, open, and ready for new perspectives forever. We are all on a journey towards the fulfillment of our inner purpose, and in this relatively short journey, our paths intersect. If we can just look beyond our gender, age, nationality, and other differences, we will together as a team make the world a better place and achieve a natural balance in this global age!
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