Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
It is time employers across different cities open up to women employees opting for work from home (WFH). This will not only reduce the overhead expenses of the employer but also get him better quality of work. For, when a woman is able to take care of her home and hearth, she can work with a better frame of mind and hence give better results.
Studies have shown that many women leave their jobs around 35 years of age, a time when they are at a fairly senior level in their career. These professionally qualified and experienced women are forced to sacrifice their careers due to the increasing problems of commuting, needs of their kids and families and pressure of household work which gets aggravated due to an utter lack of organised system of domestic helps. These women then settle for WFH (even if it means lesser salaries and lower scale of the corporate hierarchy) because it means they can fulfill their domestic duties with ease.
As per a survey done by ASSOCHAM, in Delhi-NCR 20% of women having good work experience and professional qualifications favour WFH while in Bangalore and other major cities of Karnataka, this figure is 12%. It is 10% for Mumbai. The percentages are huge.
But WFH option is available only in metro cities and that too in select industries like IT, ITeS, graphic designing and content writing and to some extent, telemarketing and data entry jobs.
In most other industries and cities women are forced to permanently quit their jobs. This not only gives them a feeling of low self-esteem but also puts a huge dent on the family income and hence the living standards. The rising cost of life necessitates that both husband and wife are earning members of the family.
So, it is time other industries and cities also open up to women employees, either giving them work from home option or allowing flexi-hours so that they are not forced to leave jobs altogether.
The ASSOCHAM survey says women opting for WFH option are aged between 35-45 years when their kids are younger and family support none. Instinctively, they give priority to their children and family and hence quit working full time.
Further, employers must also be forthcoming to employing older women in full-time jobs. For, once their children grow up and women are ready to join full time again, they hardly get any opportunity. Women post-45 rarely get employed in positions matching their qualifications and work experience due to which they are discouraged to start work again.
It is time to change the old mindset lest the country’s offices lose out on a huge percentage of qualified and experienced women solely to kitchens.