The answer is not as obvious as the question and answering it in a definite “Yes” or “No” would be unfair by most yardsticks. The best way to get any closer to the answer is getting answers from real life working women.
Women are definitely investing more in their education and as any ambitious career person they would like to see themselves in a very good position in a few years. But it is not a straight highway they want to ride on to. It is more of a roller-coaster ride especially when they enter three major phases of their lives.
The first one being their marriage, second being their maternity time, and third one being big moves by their spouse. In India we have seen women function as the epitome of sacrifice, and if they wade through these three phases of life while handling their career too, they are seen as selfish, highly ambitious women.
Thankfully, times are changing even if the change is apparent in just a few pockets of the society or in a few states.
“There are women who manage their careers with certain help. We’ve got plenty of services oriented towards working women, domestic help always comes to rescue and then there are in-laws who support their daughters-in-law to save their careers.”, clarifies Mrs Soni who is herself working in a leading HR firm.
In families where the woman is the sole earner, or families where they have higher salaries than their male counterpart, they tend to lean in more. No compromise is their motto and things are getting easier for them too.
Products like cleaning robots and ready-to-eat curries are also pointing towards the trend that women want automation of most of the household chores, so that they can pay more attention towards their career goals.
A very different trend starting now-a-days is if you’ve taken a break, you can start afresh. This fresh idea of starting all over again was also accepted very well by highly qualified women pointing towards their interest in their career.
“Tata group had started something for a woman which was welcomed by many women who had the gap of at most 8 years in their careers and who were either professionals or post-graduates. I hope they also come up with these kinds of schemes for other women too”, suggests Mrs Mehta.
The graph is certainly changing where Indian working women are “leaning in” to their careers.
“Society wants them to take full responsibility of the festivals, children’s education and family. Is it a burden or something they have to do while sacrificing their career? No, is the answer, because happy woman will always contribute better. Frustrated career woman can never be at peace as a homemaker. So I believe being in the rat race sometimes helps achieve better”, argues Mrs Walia, who is working in an IT firm.
Financially, too, it is a wise decision if a woman leans in to her career, until and unless it is really required to bid farewell to her career for some reason. Soaring prices of real estate and education is the reason why some women continue and in the process they achieve their professional goals, too.
If we want to see India flourish then we should be ready to accept this change with open arms.