When it comes to half of the world population, it should be a matter of concern for all that India has one of the lowest labour force participation women when compared to countries across the world as per ILO market update of 2017. According to World Bank report of 2017 it is about 25% of Indian women.
Though the things have changed a lot, where the professions like nursing and education are found dominated by women and they are also leaving their marks in other fields which were earlier ruled by men, but still much has to be achieved in terms of social acceptance of pink power, her competencies and capabilities to perform in all spheres.
Be it entrepreneurship, leadership roles in business world or others, women have proved themselves but fact remains that the road of success for them is not smooth as compared to men. The reasons lie in implicit gender bias and mindset about working women. Organisations should take steps to build more gender parity to consciously build capability in women employees while sensitizing both men and women with each other. The most important requirement is to tackle the unconscious bias awareness on benefits of gender diversity. If a strong support system for women, by placing appropriate people policies are put in function at workplace, there is no reason why women are not able to rise higher up the leadership ladder.
The issues and challenges faced by women at workplace are same as were in last decade and nothing much has changed. They still face the inequality when comes to pay. They are paid less than their male counterparts in most of the professions. They are less preferred for employment at a stage when they are recently married for the fear that she might go on maternity leave soon. They are subject to sexual harassment at workplace, most often they are made to lead the client's meeting for business development because of having extra "persuasion skills" and so on.
What needed is a strong support system of society and family to encourage and push women to move further in their career. They should not be allowed to become a victim of marriage and motherhood. The sooner is the better.
Saagarika Ghoshal, prominent HR professional and a woman board director, as guest editor has supported this edition cover story from conceiving the idea to bringing it on the pages having different dimensions about women at work, flips and flops, issues and challenges, hazards of professions they face and handled by women leaders itself.
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