One of the biggest conversations, a source of constant worry and the most debatable one in the corporate world is, why women do not occupy more leadership roles in the corporate world? Though women get promoted as per their caliber, attrition of women is at a far higher rate than men and the attrition rate goes higher as they move up the corporate ladder.
What makes women drop out of workforce? A women has different masks to wear and different role to play, from a daughter, to a housewife , to a mother , to an employee and is constantly judged to scrutinization.
The expectations both in and out of the workplace for women are different, where they are overworked. One of the biggest factors is – The working mothers and pregnant women, if they have a weak support system, be it to run the household or to manage the child’s schedule or to look after a sick child.
Not all corporate structures are women friendly. You are not committed enough if you cannot stretch long hours. If at all you stretch long hours, you are judged on your commitment towards home and family.
Earning male member in the family and a rapid increase in the income, which is the case of most Indian families, has created a lack of interest among women to continue with their careers.
Other issues like long distance travel, post marriage issues if there is no support from the family, relocation due to marriage are few common factors where women drop out of workforce.
What can Corporates do ? As more women enter corporates, building companies where women needs are understood and respected by providing the women employees with flexible schedules rather than face time. Yet again, this flexibility comes at the cost of progression.
To make the women employee feel secure and safe in their job, organizations off late is more often adopting to gender diversity initiatives such as generous maternity breaks which can be extended, work from home options, in-house child care facility, lactation rooms, mentoring programmes for middle management women etc.
In today’s corporate world, companies are realizing on the importance of empowering women at work. Companies are redefining the policies on women empowerment to strengthen female leadership and prevent them from quitting the workforce. As women offer a unique perspective to business world, companies are looking at creating new roles for women, conducts open hall programmes for women where their concerns can be addressed etc.
In conclusion, having a diversity committee is a way of promoting an efficient discussion of identity and privilege in the workplace. Organizations that allow women to reach their aspirations are more likely to retain its female work force and are more likely to succeed.