Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 3042
, Published on 03 December 2011
Sudha Rai, an ambitious woman begins her career as a software developer in a reputed IT firm. She continues to work after marriage, but as the years pass by she finds it difficult to maintain a work life balance. After working for almost 5 years and being a star performer throughout her career, she makes the sacrifice which most Indian women eventually make. She decides to be a nurturer instead of a dreamer.
This is the typical story of a female employee in India. The number of women managers in India is only 4% as compared to a staggering 46% in the USA. Most Indian women in their early 30’s resign from their organizations, which explain the dearth of women in top management positions. If we further analyze we would realize that it is not the glass ceiling that acts as a barrier. They quit even before hitting the ceiling.
These women are valuable assets to organizations and it’s a substantial loss for them as they have invested in them in terms of their training and development. In today’s highly competitive environment attracting and retaining talent has become imperative and is a crucial challenge for multinational companies. Organizations that want to serve female clients better need more female leaders.
A number of strategies could be applied to help retain female talent. A common complaint that the majority of female employees in any organization have is the lack of flexibility. If we take the example of I.T industry, employees are expected to clock in compulsory 8 hours of work. What women really appreciate is the flexibility to be able to leave from office early when her child has a doctor’s appointment.
In today’s technology driven world it is pragmatic to make utmost use of it. One way of doing so is by popularizing the use of video conferencing and telecommuting. The traffic conditions in most metropolitan cities in India are so appalling that on an average every Indian spends 2-3 hours traveling.’ Work from Home’ a concept which is popular in the western countries could be a great policy to save valuable time.
Working mothers often feel that organizations are not supportive of the childcare demands that they face. Women have to return to work before they are physically and emotionally ready which leads some of them to quit after having children. Finding ways to keep women connected during a leave and ease back into the workplace after maternity leave may be a useful strategy. After women take a break from work to fulfill their maternity responsibilities; recruiters are not keen on hiring them. They too often fail to recognize the value of their expertise and qualifications but instead focus on the gaps in their resumes. Organizations need to recognize this as an opportunity to tap in female talent on which they have previously invested in terms of time and effort. They should maintain contacts with these women to facilitate their re-hiring. These changes cannot take place over night and require a gradual change in the culture of organizations. Only then can we reach the aim of having a sizeable representation of women on the board of directors of Indian companies.
This article has been authored by Komal Parwani from Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai.
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