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What do you think is the future of employment?
I was asked this question with the World Economic Forum in Davos in focus last week. And honestly, it didn’t take much to come up with an answer. The answer is simple, too simple really, and I wonder why the world leaders are not focusing on it already. And if they are, I don’t think they are doing too good a job at it.
The future of employment, in my view, lies in one word, Women. Yes, it’s actually that straightforward.
About 49.6% of the world population consists of females but less than 10%, probably 7 to 8%, make it to the top. So, if you want to reimagine future, you need more women in the workforce. Instead of focusing on just 50% of the workforce, the attention should shift to the other neglected half, the women. Imagine the progress, the turnovers and profits, if every economy empowers even the female workforce.
And that brings me to gender parity at work. A lot of the time women are kept from realising their full potentials because of two main reasons. One, they are simply ignored and passed over, the opportunities going in favour of their male colleagues. Two, the company policies force women to bow out of the race by making it difficult to juggle home and work. So, the future of women and hence of employment rests on framing policies which do not force women to leave the workforce once they reach the middle management level.
Imagine the progress, the turnovers and profits, if every economy empowers even the female workforce.
A number of times, actually 9 out of 10 times, you will hear CEOs of global companies talking about innovation as the key to the future. But you see focussing on innovation means nothing when the company does zilch to retain the female workforce. One doesn’t need a degree from MIT to realise that ignoring them only cuts into profits. So, translate gender parity from policy pdfs into reality and you’ll see how the employment landscape changes. Unless employment policies are women-centric everywhere, things really won’t change much.
The future of women and hence of employment rests on framing policies which do not force women to leave the workforce once they reach the middle management level. #WorkingWomen Click To Tweet
The future of employment depends on how much and how fast companies can change with the need of current times. In this day and age of nuclear families, often women are compelled to give up their jobs following motherhood. Highly qualified and competent women are smothered out of the workplace due to lack of understanding from employers. So, the trick is to understand and understand well that retaining women employees who are experienced is the key. Instead of forcing them out to invest in training new resources, retaining women employees post their maternity break should be the priority. This is something that can no longer be neglected. You’ll be surprised by the returns.
The future of employment, in my view, lies in providing more and more opportunities to women.
When looking in the context of India, 51% women, as opposed to 75% of men are literate. And when you look at the labour participation in terms of gender, it’s only 29% of the total population of women. So, if we are not able to retain this number, stop it from falling further there is something seriously wrong with our employment scene.
And I haven’t even touched upon the issue of educating girls yet. If we are not able to provide the opportunity for employment and growth to that percentage of women who manage to enter the workforce somehow, anything else we do would just be working with half the strength. In other words, futile.
Don’t you agree?
The article was first published on my LinkedIn profile: here