IT is not the place for women especially young mothers
Okay, now before you question my intentions, let me make it clear. It's not about women, I think they are very capable (much more than men most of the time), it's about where we work and about our so called work culture.
Also this is not based my experiences inside Infy alone (a disclosure is required isn't it?). I have spoken to many who work in top IT companies in India.
Lets be practical. Even if we talk loudly about equal rights/opportunities in India. 90% (good enough to generalize) of the working women has to work in two shifts. One at office and one at home. If you are a young mother then its 3.
The general working hours are around 9hrs/day. Even if I take the least amount of time to reach office it would be 2 hrs per day. Which makes it 11hrs. Remember, it doesn't include time to reach bus stand, waiting for bus etc. That would make it 12hrs.
So you are left with 12hrs, out of which you obviously will spend around 6 hours ( again 8 is recommended) sleeping. So you are left with 6 hours, to take care of kids, home, parents (these are too be shared by both husband and wife. But be practical in 90% of the homes in India, only women do it) takes more than 6 hours.
Now you are in an IT industry, your work wont end at 5pm. You have onsite calls, customer calls, appraisal calls, firefight calls, status calls etc..etc. So you are taking break from your actual job (like spending time with child) to attend them.
If you are unlucky, you will be in a **development** project, with tight schedules (I haven't seen one which doesn't have tight schedule, yet), then you will end up spending your Saturdays in office too. That is another day lost, for your kid.
Take a break for 4/5 years. None of the IT companies care for young mothers. You don't fit into their business model.
This is what I suggested to my friend who is going to be a mother next month. Am I wrong?
My advice would have been the same for young father too. Take a big break. There is nothing bigger than your family. No better time than now to spend with your kid. More than anything else its your responsibility. Take turns in taking break. Again IT industry doesn't care about young fathers too.
Gartner study says:
"Women represent nearly 50% of the labor force and are improving their financial status. Many women will not wait for the traditional corporate ladder to come to them. "Paying their dues" is unappealing. Moreover, women are adamant about balancing their work, personal and family needs. If they must leave IT organizations to do so, while creating their own businesses and moving into other professions, they will."
-© 2007 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates
I have grown-up. My opinion has changed. Today my suggestion would be please go to work. I will do my best to change my work place to be mother/parent friendly. It's our responsibility and not yours.