You know the drill, study hard, come at the top of your class, get a great job, get married and somewhere along the line you know it won’t last forever. While this may not be the truth for all Indian women across the country, but for most of them, it is the only reality they know when it comes to their career because there is always a family responsibility that only they need to be burdened with. Hence, it comes as no surprise when the annual research ‘VIEWPOINT 2019’ by AVTAR revealed that almost 48 percent of Indian women have quit their job halfway so that they could be committed to their family.
Indian women quit due to various reasons, a majority of them being, struggles with motherhood 45 percent
With the theme, “Second Careers of Women Professionals – The India Story, AVTAR, a company that is India’s diversity advocate and workplace inclusion expert has been working on making women participating in the workforce its core aim since the year 2000. The truth is that the participation of Indian women in the workforce has been falling in the last decade, from 36 percent to a measly 24 percent and these statistics sure is a wakeup call for both the Indian society and the professional world. VIEWPOINT 2019 studied 783 second-career women from various industries across the country who had work experience of more than 9.5 years and also an average of 4.4 years of a career break. The study found that Indian women quit due to various reasons, a majority of them being, struggles with motherhood 45 percent, maternity 35 percent and looking after an infirm person in their family 16 percent. These reasons continue to show that caregiving is still a woman’s burden and it is extremely challenging for women to balance their professional life and the home.
Indian women do want to be financially independent and put their education to good use
However, when the time comes for women to return to work, the biggest barrier in the lack of a strong network and 59 percent of women have cited this as a reason, 36 percent said that skills gaps were another hurdle while 29 percent revealed that they have little to no support at home or from family members. There is also the myth that women don’t want to work or don’t want to return to work, however, Indian women, in fact, do want to, because they feel they must become financially independent and that they must put their educational degrees and work experience to good use. Hence, corporate organizations must step up to ensure they also include those who have had career breaks in their hiring pool. Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President of AVTAR Group, said, “As an early evangelist and a second career woman myself, it is heartening to see the momentum build in the second career movement. We have been seeing how companies are benefiting by recruiting these second career women in our annual Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) study, which we launched in association with Working Mother to identify and celebrate the best practices followed by companies for increasing women’s workforce participation in the country.”
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