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.
What 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.