Women play a very important role in shaping the country’s growth and development. There were times when women didn’t have their basic rights. Today’s women have a choice to be independent, have a career and fulfil their needs and ambitions.
But it has never been easy for a woman to get what she wants. When it comes to working women, there are several barriers which hinders their progress to the top and one of these is inequality at workplace. Gender disparity starts at the very beginning when fewer female candidates are hired in comparison to males at the entry level and when it comes to higher position, the number gets even lower.
According to Grant Thornton’s women in business: Beyond policy to progress report, there are only 20% women in the leadership roles in India. Several reports have indicated huge disparity between the average salary of men and women in India. This hampers the women employees’ performance and firm’s efficiency.
Considering gender as a determining factor of one’s capabilities hits the pinnacle of the organisation’s dominance hierarchy. People who are associated with an organization at any level should not be judged or discriminated on the basis of their gender but by their intelligence, capabilities and competence.
Numerous counter initiatives have been adopted. From setting up of grievance cells to investing in promotion of a diverse workforce, organisations have come to understand that profit margins increase with more female members on board. Laws have been defined to ensure flexible work programs with maternity leaves, work from home options, etc. and have been well accepted and executed all around the world. But more than policy initiatives it requires a cultural change.
The fact that only about 27% of the Indian women are employed, against 49% globally, questions the implementation of these measures in our country. One of the major factors for this is the reluctance of employers to hire back women after taking a career break. These breaks can often be due to the dual responsibility of work and home.
Priorities vary from person to person and has a pattern if looked into gender wise. Working women and specially working mothers want a work-life balance and flexible working hours, which should be accepted and encouraged however it is often misinterpreted by the organization as their lack of sincerity and dedication towards their work which is not true. Now is the time to change the mindset of the organizations that women are no less than men in any way when it comes to work.
It is imperative that we not only hire qualified professionals irrespective of their gender, but also retain them in the corporate and economic activities. World Bank’s report that India’s GDP growth rate would have been over 9% if more women were working, is an evidence of how significant it is to eliminate any gender discrimination.
Women today are career confident and their workplace needs have to be addressed. Maintaining transparent systems, providing adequate support and flexibility, and promoting equality, especially by the male employees, are a few mediators of career advancement for women. Supporting a healthy work life balance is the key to ensure gender equality.
We need to be more sensitive towards the needs of women in workplace, not only on moral grounds, but also on economic motives. ValuEndow believes in redefining the customary position of women in the corporate world and elevate their level of satisfaction and performance. To have a deeper dialogue on how to meet these transforming organisational needs of mitigating the gender bias and disparity, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.