Advaiya organized a panel discussion about women in the corporate world this International Women’s Day.
There has been much talk about gender equality and increasing role of women in profession. But statistics reveal there is still a gender pay gap and women’s share of management jobs remains at 32%. Asia, with its stubborn societal norms, fares worst.
This year, Advaiya decided to take this issue head on and discuss with panelists, which consisted of both, men and women – why they felt there was this disparity. Why is it that so few women are seen at the Board level and is there still pay gap! Many interesting points came to light.
In a country like India where societal norms are stringent, it was observed that most women faced challenges while meeting the demands of profession and managing kids when at work, and taking care of household chores post work while striving to achieve career success. However, there is a transformation among the educated families as was described by panelists Nidhi Paneri, Sr. Consultant and Kirti Sethiya, Consultant at Advaiya. Both mentioned that even though they were working for many years before marriage, they found it a bit difficult continuing the job after marriage. They had to ensure they finish up the morning chores before leaving the house and felt guilty if they reached home later than the dinner preparation time. But, both have had supporting families which helped them progress in their careers without much impediment.
There was a different perspective put forth by Yashwant , Systems Analyst and Excellence Enabler at Advaiya, who felt that the inability of women to stretch working hours and travel is probably one of the reasons stopping them from climbing the corporate ladder. There has been certain amount of inflexibility in women when it comes to putting in longer hours.
What can families do to ensure this is not an impediment to professional growth? What can we do as a society to acknowledge women also as a thinking human being and not as someone who needs permission from family to make her life decisions? How can we encourage and nudge women to take more of the managerial position and not “settle down” or curb their professional ambitions?
Advaiya is doing its bit. Advaiya has more than 45% women in the workforce with good presence in Board and Management positions. They have an in-house mother and baby care area and provide flexible hours and remote working facilities. While this is not a lot, even a small nudge in the area of women empowerment would go a long way and, as they concluded the panel discussion, there is lot to be achieved in this area by our society and our country, at large.