Working Indian women appear to be more gutsy than their sisters in the West when it comes to waging a war on gender and workplace bias, refusing to allow these factors to determine their career charts.
A recent study conducted by Centre for Work Life Policy, a New York based think-tank, reveals that working women in India are more ambitious than their US counterparts in their aspiration for top jobs and are willing to go the extra mile to get there.
"The ambition and aspiration among Indian women is extraordinary as 80 per cent of women aspire for top jobs in India and are willing to go the extra mile compared to 52 per cent in the US," the study titled ' The Battle of Female Talent in India' says.
The research says that these impressive levels of aspiration among Indian women have been fuelled by the country's rapid economic growth that has brought about a shift in the social status of women.
Jai Sinha, managing director and partner, Booz & Company India, the sponsors of the study, says, " Our research shows that fewer than 30 per cent of Indian women work and only 10 per cent between the ages of 18-23 are enrolled in higher education." " Yet, in 2009 women represented 11 per cent of CEOs (chief executive officers), almost four times the three per cent figure for Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies in the US and UK respectively," he added.
This phenomenal success has been achieved despite the various social constraints, such as gender bias, travel and work- hour constraints, that women face both at work and home.
According to the report, about 45 per cent of women in India fall victims to gender bias at the workplace.
"More than half of the educated women in India experience a triple whammy of gender, ethnicity and culture attitudes, creating a bias in the workplace severe enough to make them consider scaling back their career goals or quitting altogether," the report adds.
The study further says that promotions based on ' an ability to fit in' rather than ' an ability to produce results' leave many talented women feeling unwelcome at their workplace.
Safety at workplace is another concern for women. " About 52 per cent of the survey respondents feel unsafe while commuting to and from work. With crime rates escalating at an alarming degree, the rate of rape and kidnapping, strongly influence women's preferences about the type of career they pursue," it says.
The report further reveals that nearly 80 per cent of working women in India believe that international assignments are critical to their career progression.
However, about 73 per cent experience family and societal disapproval for travelling alone for business.
This leads to women concentrating on careers with local responsibilities, such as medicine, law and hotel administration among others, which are city- based and require minimal travel. The study points out that many women also shy away from extreme work hours at multinationals and prefer to stick to the public sector for maintain a better work- life balance.
Defying common perception the survey reveals that on the domestic front eldercare is a greater challenge for women than childcare, with 70 per cent women catering to it.
Courtesy: Mail Today