Friday, December 09, 2005

IT Widows & Widowers & Orphans

Another article that talks about the impact of the IT industry work style and its impact on the family of the person working in IT. This is from "The Hindu"'s "Speak Out" column that appears in the Saturday paper.

[QUOTE] I'm a mother of two. Most of the time, I find myself playing substitute father, since my husband not only works late, but is often away on tours as well. If anyone can offer tips on how the family can manage both work and home, they would be appreciated.[/QUOTE]

I believe this article speaks out about the general lifestyle of people working in IT and more specifically the men who end up choosing work over families. Am not sayint that there arnt women who end up choosing work over families but just the sheer ratios of men to women working in IT results in more men spending more time at work. End result the family suffers with the spouse being an "IT Widow" akin to a "Golf Widow" where the husband spends all his time playing golf. Here instead the husband spends all his time at work or working from home or being away from home for work. Am sure the phenomenon of an "IT Widower" exists where the husband works in a non-IT field and doesnt get to see much of the IT wife.

Compared to being an IT Widow or Widower I believe there is one thing worse. IT would be an IT Orphan. This can be best explained with the following true example. A couple works in the same software company. Both are at a pretty senior level and have a small son. The poor kid spends most of his time with either his grandparents or uncles/aunts as his parents are usually travelling or working late. At any given time I have not heard of the parents being in the same city at the same time for more than a couple of days and during those days they are invariably working late. This poor kid is the "IT Orphan" who has parents who can spend a lot of money on him whenever needed but cannot afford to spend time with him. Time which is much more precious than money !

Solutions are needed and quickly for the sake of the Widows/Widowers and Orphans.

Category: Software-Industry


Blogger silverine said...

A solution that a friend of mine adopted was delaying having kids till she reached a reasonably senior level so that she could break off early from work.

December 09, 2005  
Blogger SV said...

I donot think industry can provide any solution. These scenarios are not just in IT. This can happen anywhere. I have known people who work in Mechanical workshops and almost live there. I think the solution lies in managing ones time.

December 10, 2005  
Blogger Rockus said...

IT field has this redundant problem, which is unique to it. Mech field is not as demanding throughout the year. The solution would be to get to a senior level before starting a family as silverine said.

December 10, 2005  
Blogger Echo/Lavanya said...

Sushil - I am digressing a bit from your topic of the IT Widows, Widowers and Orphans but I wanted to share this link from kottke about the IT Coasters - the employees who hang around and basically do nothing much.

One solution that I can think of for the issue of the Widow/Widower/Orphan is for the IT companies is to go the Army, Railways way and actually provide housing and school options in or near the company campus for the employees. That would save employees from travelling too much and would help them stay close to their families too.

December 14, 2005  
Blogger Sreejith Kumar said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog too SJC. I have added you to my list as well.

December 15, 2005  

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