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Women In The Workforce: What Do Women Want In Their Career?

This article highlights one of the topics that will be discussed at the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership (WIL) Forum India.

When looking at their long term career plans, what are women looking for in an organization? The findings of a survey conducted among women working in fifty companies across thirteen different fields revealed the following results:

• Women tend to place families first, and spare very little time for themselves
• Women feel undervalued in the workplace
• They feel underestimated in the market place
• Women feel underserved

The issues that drive a woman to work and the choices and priorities that she makes during her career are different from that of a man. When it comes to career, a woman looks for work that offers more meaning and it has to go hand-in-hand with her lifestyle and responsibilities.

Women in the WorkforceWhat Do Women Want At Work?

The main benefits a woman looks for in her work include:

• A supportive work atmosphere.
• A reasonably good balance between work and home.
• Recognition and scope for achievement.
• A good compensation.
• Working for an organization that has high values and a sense of social responsibility.
• A challenging job.

A recent survey conducted by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India shows that 82 percent of working women prefer flexible office timings.

The option to work from home, day-care facilities for children, friendly leave policies and flexible office hours provide women a huge amount of support to help them climb up the corporate ladder on their own terms.

Here are a few other interesting revelations from the survey.

• 82% of mothers with children aged between 0 and 4 prefer flexible office hours.
• Only 16% opted to work full time, away from home.
• 85% men wished to marry working women because they believe such women can manage home and work efficiently.
• 71% women agreed that HR policies are becoming better with time.

Marriage Vs Career

The Indian census reports show that every year, nearly 5.5 million Indian women join the workforce. But the number of them who hold on to their jobs are not even half of it. Irrespective of the position or income, the traditional reins that hold a woman remain strong. When family responsibilities take priority over work, it can leave a working woman feeling pitied and judged for her commitment.

Almost 50% of the women in India tend to drop out of their careers following marriage or children, and a number of them do so more because of cultural pressures. Bias in the workplace is also a reason that many women quit work.

Emerging Trends in Indian Companies

Following the footsteps of multi-national organizations, a number of companies in India are also adjusting their existing policies and becoming more adaptive to the needs of its woman employees. The new initiatives also help companies retain a higher number of women workers.

In this increasingly competitive market that demands versatile skills, it is important for the companies in India to widen their management policies for women, as the fair sex is now an almost equal part of the Indian workforce.


Career Guidance for Women:

  • Free MAPP Assessment – Are you happy with your job? Know what truly motivates you and what career is best for you. The MAPP Assessment reveals the real you – your natural motivations, interests and talents for work. By taking the test you identify your ideal careers and discover your strengths, your styles for communications, learning and leadership.
  • How to Become a Rising Star in Your Career in 60 Days or Less – Discover the career performance system that gets you where you want to go and learn the critical things that top performers know and do that average performers do not. Regardless whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re aiming for a new, top-level position, learning these strategies and techniques will give you an edge over your competition. These proven strategies can help you earn more, gain respect and recognition, and put your career on the fast track.

Image: Stuart Miles /




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