How Can A Child Changes the Definition of "Work"?
Back when he was in my belly, he always went with the flow regarding this business matter. I can say we worked really hard together. Yet we were both keeping up with the rhythm very well. He didn't grow up in my belly listening to opera or musicals, but I'm sure he heard a lot of emulsion recipes and was exposed to a great deal of silicone chemistry.
When he just started talking, Around the time he started talking, we didn't have that many clients and back then I usually tried to be in the field. When he reasonably asked, “Where are you going?”, I used to respond, “I am going to listen to people and find a solution that can help them.” When we got home in the evening, he would tell me what he had done, and I would tell him what I really did about whatever had happened that day. That whatever could be actual production with a boiler one day or washing a beaker in the laboratory the next. Days went by, and the number of people we individually touched and helped increased. Our conversations now featured a new question: "Who did you help?"
But the definition of “business” never changed. That remained the name given to a place where people are always happy and help each other. By definition, the term “company” also kept referring to the same legal entity as we know it. Therefore, I always went to the "business" company, where there are always pleasant people and where people come together to help others. Then the places changed. I think it was my son who was most upset when packing things into cardboard boxes before we moved out from DTM (World Trade Center). But he was also the one to beg to water the flowers on the balcony after we opened our first laboratory in Ikitelli. It was as if there was no other garden in the world at all. I noticed he had grown up when we moved into the new office at Balance because I'm sure he was the first kid to learn the word elastomer while printing silicone on his undershirt.
We did all of this together. We unconditionally stood by each other whenever we needed one another. I developed myself as I looked at his freedom and his way of thinking, which in turn boosted my contribution.
In a congress I came across by chance recently, the speaker, a professor of obstetrics, said women should balance their career and the matter of having children. As far as I remember, the professor’s speech implied that we were missing out on our chances of having children as we were focusing too much on our careers. Looking at my current strengths, namely my inclusiveness, ability to guide, and creativity - wait, I learned all these from my son! Frankly, I couldn't understand what exactly I needed to balance.
Because I've never had to be a "mother" when I go home and a "manager" when I go to the office. Our “business” company never offered titles to employees. I didn’t like honorifics such as Mr. and Mrs. either, so I only had titles very briefly in my life. That was when my son heard it from a very close friend and started calling me "Mr. Ayrin" (Things can sometimes get really messy, particularly if you're a single mom). Fortunately, it was short-lived, but I didn't get into the habit of feeling like someone who had to give orders and then follow through.
A while back at Latro, we began to name and shape the values and purpose we believed in and championed earlier. We believed that the presence of core values we can truly connect to was very important. Many other companies had core values as well, but these were actually a collection of statements that looked more like press releases you might read on your first orientation day to adapt to the company and nothing more than a meaningless painting hanging on the entrance lobby wall next to a manager's office. At Latro, on the other hand, values emerged as a sensitive point as they overlapped with our personal values. It is our confidence as well as our values underlying our behavioral patterns that make each of us the strongest defender of the culture we want to create and disseminate.
Considering the motherhood-career context of the life cycle I live for self-actualization, it is no coincidence that one of our values is “Be yourself!” (wholeness). And the best part is that this concept was developed and agreed unanimously after the whole team came together and conversed for days
In its best expression in our opinion, wholeness is to “be yourself”,
It means seeing people as a whole with all their ideas and emotions. It means offering a free playground through our culture that supports individuals to be like themselves.
In fact, this allows us not only to experience motherhood role that society has assigned us but also to live all our emotions together. It also allows us to freely make a difference as we are and we want to be. This gives us the chance to realize ourselves and we are nurtured by satisfaction, happiness, self-sufficiency, creativity, difference, immortality, and reliability. We remember that we are part of something bigger than ourselves and aim to be useful to the entire ecosystem we touch through an understanding of “collective management”.
Margaret Wheatley and Myron Kellner Rogers pose an exquisite question in their book "A Simpler Way". “If we can be in the world in the fullness of our humanity, what are we capable of?” In other words, what could we accomplish if we can be ourselves?
We possess incredible power. We are free to be ourselves! No matter what our current role is, be it a mother, a father, employee, wife, sister, employer, friend…
However, the truth is that the rate of those who believe the children of working mothers are adversely affected by this in our country has statistically increased this year compared to 2018. The rate of women who believe in this negative impact increased from 31% to 43% while the rate of men increased from 47% to 57%. One of the reasons for this is that, with the pandemic, children's need for parental support has increased in educational processes as education shifted to online platforms. Therefore, women continued to feel as if they had to choose between the role of mother, their primary and universal role, and the role of producer, in which they had the opportunity to realize themselves and use their creativity. Most importantly, they began to believe that this was a common truth. It is a striking piece of data that 43 out of every 100 women believe they make a negative impact on their children, let alone enjoying the pleasure of working and creating value.
According to a study jointly conducted by the ILO and TUIK, the wage inequality was declared as 16.9%. This actually means that throughout the country, women work for 57 days without pay compared to men, all the while convinced that their children were negatively affected during these unpaid hours.
I want mothers to know that an environment where they can fully enjoy both roles without any negative impacts on their children and without getting worn out in the process is possible. This is more important than outputs such as general wage policies and employee distribution rates. I also ask them to face a kind of reality other than the boundaries of the traditional business world. It is possible to be part of an ecosystem where 80% of employees are women, but more importantly, everyone freely comes every morning and feels as they are. It is definitely possible to create such an ecosystem.
I like helping my son get dressed and driving him to school every morning, not because I have to, but because I choose to be there at that very moment. I love staying with him in the morning if I feel he got off on the wrong foot that day and realizing that I don't remember having left my phone in the bathroom until the right moment. I love running out in the middle of a very “important” and of course “urgent” meeting without any explanation. I love the calm voices on a phone call later, asking “How are you?” and “Is there anything I can do for you?” I enjoy the pleasure of being able to freely express every idea in my mind in all its transparency. And I know there will be many “business” companies where it is possible to experience such reality.