Mommy has an essay in a book coming out. And I only complain about you once.

My motherhood misadventures land me a chapter in “Innovating Women”

This week, a book about women and tech — Innovating Women  – will be released. I have an essay in it and I’m pretty honest in it about the challenges of being a female leader in a startup. The irony is that there’s already been some controversy over the book’s co-author, an entrepreneur-turned-academic named Vivek Wadhwa, and why a man gets to represent this movement.

An excerpt from my chapter:

A certain type of person gravitates toward innovations that attempt to disrupt the status quo. And it’s especially hard for women, with the high stakes of leaving a steady paycheck and time with children behind, to embrace risk. When people ask me why I keep doing these new projects, the common theme that has emerged is that women are a necessary part of any industry trying to innovate or reinvent itself. Startups need women. And the ones I have done happen to need me. I hate the term “office mom,” but I do think we have this ability to nurture and mentor, give tough love, be blunt in our criticism and also keep going the immediacy, need for decisive action and precision. We’re good at keeping the trains running and figuring out where they’re going.  So I might not want to be the office mom, but I suspect a lot of women like me look around, and are happy to play the role or fill the void that’s needed, to do what needs to be done. And startups are all about what needs to be done.

When Quartz launched, I was still pumping breastmilk for my daughter. We had a retreat in our president’s apartment. I pumped in his master bedroom. We went out for a Chinese banquet dinner. I pumped in the supply closet. We went out for drinks. I pumped in the bathroom. I was determined to be there though. Those are the sacrifices you make to do it all, have it all.

It’s still a really lonely existence.

Rest assured, I end on a more upbeat note. Well, kind of…

 

Bill de Blasio’s New York City: It’s inequality, stupid

It’s tough for any product of the New York City newspaper scene to merely watch election night. This piece published in Quartz yesterday is my attempt to go global with the results and Bill de Blasio’s once-unlikely victory. (Granted, his fellow candidates’ missteps also helped him, but anyone who discounts the income disparity that is NYC right now is sleeping under a rock. Or, more likely, a penthouse.)

 

 

Hey, Ma, I’m a SAJA awards finalist!

Leave it to me for my first post for the newly designed mitrakalita.com to be self promotional.

The South Asian Journalists Association just announced its finalists for awards this year and there I am… My piece on Indians in the GOP (namely, Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley) is competing in the commentary category. An excerpt:

Republicans need to pay attention here because the immigrant vote is still up for grabs. The largest sway among a voter bloc actually came among Asian Americans—up at least 27 points from 2008. What turned them off the Republican Party between then and now? Perhaps fringe movements like the Tea Party alienate more voters than they lure. More importantly, the Democrats think they have the minority vote locked up. Yet frustration is mounting over a lack of diverse candidates among the Dems, too, and demands for payback are growing louder.

A lot of my lefty friends didn’t like the piece. I guess none of them was a judge.