Traditionally, due to the diverse cultures and customs in India, women’s roles were for most part limited to domestic chores. Though women did start going out to work due to the increase in population and rising prices of running households that demanded more wage earners, women were still restricted to nurturing jobs such as nurses, doctors, teachers or secretarial and admin posts.
Today, although women are better educated, have more qualified degrees and are proven to be finer at handling jobs in the field of engineering, geology, hospitality, finance and communication women are still underrepresented at every level from entry level to top management positions the world over.
Although the world is moving towards empowering women and there are positions available for all, why is that women continue to resist accepting these job roles? One of the primary issues is that in most cases women are not always motivated by the aspiration of moving upwards or taking higher positions in corporate or service sectors.
According to an article in April 2022, Times of India highlighted that one of the major confrontation women face at workplaces is “just because they are women”. Gender disparity is still prevalent in the Indian society and percolates at work places with preference given to male colleagues even though they have equal or better qualifications.
Whilst historically it has been proven that women perform better than men even in stressful situations, there is an ingrained belief system that women are incapable of doing difficult work and therefore less effective than their male counterparts. Sometimes, even if they are preferred over men for the job role, they are exploited with a much lesser pay as compared to men. Despite the fact that there is a law in place for equal pay for all, it is seldom followed and as on today a 25.4% wage disparity exists between women and men.
To add to this, women face sexual harassment at their workplaces in the form of snide remarks to being physically molested by those in more powerful positions outside and on the way to work or home. On most cases, women are not easily promoted or given growth opportunities and when they are, it is often assumed to have been achieved at the cost of their virtue rather than their skills and superior performance at work.
Women in the mid-thirties and forties are still expected to do their household chores, treated as the sole caregiver at home to their offspring and are hardly ever given the emotional support they require to succeed at work while also being discouraged from working till late hours.
Other reasons for women to decline corporate jobs, higher positions or taking on more responsibilities at work involve, insufficient maternity leave, unhealthy sanitization at work, stressful and unrealistic expectations from male and female bosses both and a detrimental work culture