By Ruchi Kumar
MUMBAI: It’s tough being a working woman in India. Heck, it is tough being a working woman anywhere. Undeniably though, in the fast progressing economy of today, women are an important resource. With the opportunities available at hand, the feline gender has made themselves adept for every profession and position. However, the added pressures that come with being a working woman is also undeniable.
Much has been written and said about women managing work-life balance. But what really makes work and life easier for women is a workplace that understands and accommodates the quirks and perks that come with employing women.
“Indian women have societal expectations to prioritise household responsibilities. To add to that, glass ceiling effect, wage discrimination, stereotypical career selection, insensitive HR policies, and sexual harassment lead many women to compromise on their professional aspirations,” explains industrial psychologist Panna Mehta.
The silver lining in the cloud is that many corporates have undertaken initiatives and policies to combat these issues and make professional lives easier for women. Aditya Birla, known for its various women empowering CSR initiatives, applies its corporate philosophies in their work spaces as well. The conglomerate, which has a massive female workforce, especially at their executive and managerial levels, goes that extra mile to ensure their comfort and convenience. “Women in our organisation are highly cherished and are provided with special amenities to make the workplace more convenient place for them.” says Pragnya Ram, group executive president, corporate communications and CSR, Aditya Birla.
“Apart from the ethical and equal workplace treatment, we also have women sensitive policies in place. For instance, in case of young mothers, we allow them to work form home on certain days, even post their maternal break,” she adds. Another multinational firm, HCL also imbibes this philosophy at their workplace. “We firmly believe that the talent in the female gender value chain is a key business driver,” says Srimathi Shivashankar, associate vice president, Diversity and Sustainability, HCL Technologies. “Through various maternity, travel and flexible working hours policies and employee assistance programmes, we strive to facilitate a healthy environment and a successful organisation,” she adds.
The company, infact, has created a website, HCLwomen.com, solely for its female workforce. The portal provides women employees an opportunity to learn, share and empower others. “The objective behind the website is to provide a global platform for female workforce to interact, share and educate themselves on a personal and professional front,” explains Shivashankar. The website also features inspiring stories, provides a platform for exchange of discussions, ideas, and debate and onground leadership initiatives with industry experts and even peers from other organisations.
Women are more likely to be good organisational citizens, more committed and less likely to change jobs as compared to male employees. Mehta concludes, “Employers should be aware of the fact that their negative perception towards women leads to loss of opportunities of using full potential of a women employees which could have benefited the company.”
(Times of India)