To kick off our ‘Trading Dads’ series we’re shining a light on how Bloomberg’s Primary Caregiver Leave helped one manager create better work/life balance.
“You have to be able to do whatever it takes,” says Krishna Nadella, a senior manager at financial information service Bloomberg. But he’s not talking about life at the coalface of financial services, or at least not this time. Instead, he’s talking about his life as a dad.
Krishna is a married father of three with a demanding job and a passion to be the best dad he can be. A few years ago, those competing demands might have been incompatible, especially in the cut throat world of finance. Men either focused on their careers or they focused on their families. They couldn’t have it all.
Times have changed
As Krishna can testify, times have changed. When his wife was pregnant with their first child, Krishna took Bloomberg’s Primary Caregiver Leave, a period of time off akin to maternity leave but available to either parent. He was present for the final weeks of his wife’s pregnancy and the early months of his child’s life. And his dedication to being a good dad didn’t stop when he got back to work.
Krishna says: “On a weekday I leave for work before my kids get up so I’m not there in the mornings. But that makes it all the more important that when I get home I’m present and that I’m really there for my wife and kids,” he says.
Krishna has had to embrace compromise in both his work and family life. He regrets never being around to take his kids to school, but he ensures that he’s back in time in the evening to help with dinner and bath time and to read to his children before bed. It’s essential, he says, to be truly there in those moments, to talk, play and chat and find out about everybody’s day. “We make sure the kids feel like we are spending quality time with them,” he says.
Krishna admits that being a committed father and a senior professional in the world of finance takes serious time management. “I need the ability to juggle multiple aspects of my life at the same time, realising that all have an importance but that all have to be given quality time. It’s not just about being there physically, it’s about being there mentally,” he says.
He says his career ambitions haven’t changed since having kids, but the route to fulfilling those ambitions has. “Before having children I wanted to get there as fast as possible. Having kids made me realise there’s a facet of my life that I really wanted to spend time on and really be present for,” Krishna adds. His ambitions for professional advancement remain the same, but he might just take a little longer to reach them.
Times have changed for working dads in the financial services sector, just as they have in many industries and professions. But Krishna accepts that there is still a way to go. His employer afforded him excellent parental leave and now helps facilitate a work/life balance that allows him to be present and involved in both a demanding career and in his role as a dad to three young children. But ideally, Krishna would like to see a more general acceptance of the equal roles mothers and fathers play in the early life of their children.
“It’s the idea that not one parent is the primary caregiver, and that both parents can take the same amount of time off to allow them to both bond with their child…I think that would go a long way in the development of that family. I was fortunate with my third child to take Primary Caregiver Leave, and I saw a whole aspect to my family that I didn’t see with my first two children. Both parents need this time.”
About Trading Dad
In collaboration with Talking Talent, DaddiLife are focussing on dads who work in one of the most ‘always-on’ industries in the world, Trading, to showcase how modern day fatherhood is starting to impact the industry.