Work-Life Balance A Challenge For Indian Women

A study has found that the difficulty of balancing life and work is a key reason why women in India leave their jobs. While 24 per cent of Indian men surveyed said they quit their jobs because of long or inflexible working hours, for women that figure was 48 per cent.


work-life-balance-a-challenYes, the number of women opting for MBAs in India is increasing. And yes, India Inc. is consistently working to hire more women, who are young, ambitious and increasingly qualified. But can these women strike a good work-life balance?
Even though India Inc. has been encouraging a greater number of women in the workplace, that number is still low. A new study by Grant Thornton, a global accounting and advisory firm, shows that on average, women make up only 15 per cent of the workforce in Indian companies. Globally, this figure stood at 35 per cent. Today, only 1.8 per cent of CEOs in India are women.
How to enhance the role of women in India Inc. was a question addressed by many of the businesswomen who gathered in New Delhi’s Habitat Center a while ago on Women’s Day. Sunita Cherian, Vice President of Human Resources at Wipro, speaking on the sidelines of the event, said that her company tries to meet the changing priorities of their women employees depending on their stages of life.
For instance, the company is more flexible on working hours for women after they get married, says Ms. Cherian. Wipro Ltd. is also determined to persuade women to stay in their job, even if they may be tempted to quit and rely on their partners’ incomes instead. “This is the stage where a woman might feel that a dual-income is not a necessity,” she says.
Ms. Cherian, who has spent 17 years working at Wipro Ltd., believes that her “ambition was fuelled” by the fact that she stepped into the right organisation and the right family after marriage.
Srimati Shivashankar, who is in charge of promoting greater gender diversity at HCL Technologies, said she had to work harder than others as she was climbing the corporate ladder. Cracking stereotypes like “think director, think male” was not easy, said Ms. Shivashankar.
Striking a good work-life balance is much more important for women than for men. A new global research by Accenture, a consulting firm, found that around 70 per cent of female respondents in India said that work-life balance was the key to their definition of “success” in their career, while only 40 per cent of men felt that. The study also found that the difficulty of balancing life and work is a key reason why women in India leave their jobs. While 24 per cent of Indian men surveyed said they quit their jobs because of long or inflexible working hours, for women that figure was 48 per cent.
Source : WSJ

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