#WorkingWomen | Women – The Future Of Employment

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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

13 thoughts on “#WorkingWomen | Women – The Future Of Employment”

  1. All pertinent points, Naba. How is the big question? Most employers are not tuned to the needs of women. They are not willing to make small concessions when a man seems hassle-free to them. It’s just sad.

  2. Absolutely. And I would like to add that the employers really need to look beyond fulltime option. A large no of highly qualified women would be able to participate if given a half day work option.

  3. I agree with you. However my reasons are slightly different.

    At the moment, the role of women in workplace is less not because they are less capable but because in most of the cases the corporate policies are not right. The corporates routinely promote people based on their number of years of experience and performance and give them managerial roles. Most of the times these promotions are sheer waste of talent. Since you are in bangalore, let me give an example of IT industry.

    Say you have a good software guy who writes code very well. Based on that you promote this person to team lead and then to Project manager role. The fellow falls flat because he/she doesn’t have the managerial abilities, people skills, communications skills, empathy etc to handle a team. And by promoting this guy you have removed a good coder. So you continue to put newbies in coding roles who make more mistakes. So if you tweak the system to encourage good coders to continue in coding role and not managerial roles, give them more incentives and payment for good work. If you do this, the other benefit is women who are good in those roles can continue doing their own work as individual contributors and not be bothered about their office timings. So they can drop their kids to school and then go to office, work and then come back and do the rest at home, as they are more focused on getting their work done within the deadlines.

    With more and more people working from different locations, working from home is becoming a reality. Unfortunately companies are not able to handle it as their work is not very structured and outputs of persons are not well decided. However, in future given the heavy traffic causing extended commuting times to office, more people have to work from home. Also, when you work from home, the establishment cost of companies comes down. So in future more women can work.

    In certain sectors women are better then men like electronic manufacturing where fine finger work needing hand-eye coordination is required. So more women at worker level can get employed. In fact that is the need of the hour. While working in Nokia, we had seen that the female workers (10+2 pass) getting employment resulted in gender equality as well as increased respect for these female workers in their families and in their neighbourhood. So I hope things can change.

  4. Gender equality us paramount today as women are fast becoming more adaptive to change in technology and innovations. I feel women stay far more abreast with issues and are more vocal too in expressing them intelligently. Plus they are more suited for multitasking than men.
    All of this and more, makes them the perfect choice for better employment means.

  5. Congratulations on getting your first article published on Linkedin. More power to you in bringing out the disparities in employment and writing about change.

  6. Agree completely. I think it’s important to empower women and the first step is a good education. I hope people understand it soon and we see a big change.

  7. This seems to be a rampant issue and one thing that Sheryl Sandberg tries to address in lean In. I think for any change to be possible, there must be a shift in the basic mindset for long term change to be both possible and effective. Hope the powers that be are listening.

  8. Completely agree, Naba! Women are the future, the makers, the creators. Girl education is the obvious first step, but together with that we need the voices of women who are already in workforce to be heard, loud and clear, and the policies be tailored accordingly.

  9. Absolutely agree that we need more women leaders. Diversity of thought benefits every facet of the world, including the work world.

  10. That’s too much of the gap. And what sucks is when educated women aren’t allowed to work. Such a waste of talent I feel.
    Very valid points put up, Naba!


  11. I love reading your posts about working women. Being a workaholic myself, I can totally understand and feel everything you write. Women need to be empowered more and more. Yes, that’s the future of employment. Considering the parity, it is about time more women are employed in firms. And given the same amount of privileges as men. There needs to be an element of trust when someone is taken into a role. Male or female. I see these days that people always think twice before hiring a woman and go on to ask questions about her marriage or plans of pregnancy. It’s a sad state.

    Female is the future. She gives birth to the future for God’s sake. How hard is it to understand this?

  12. Its true Naba.. the biggest issues lie both atbthe home front as well as at the officer space. At home there is seldom any encouragement to excel and be ambitious as the first priority is to be family. And as u have mentioned there are hordes of issues at the officer front there women are always sidelines sure to policies.

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