What women bring to the 21st century workplace

Source: Indian Express

Relevance: To recognize qualities of women and map them according to socio-economic needs

Synopsis: There is a need to see more women in positions of power, and that can only happen if they are recognized and enabled for their strengths and not for acting ‘like men’

Introduction

Women comprise 48% of the population, but yet a fraction of them are the active drivers of India’s economic growth.

Perception against women
  • Today the world is chasing the skills like AI and computing. Many reports, including World Economic Forum, highlighted the role of emotional intelligence, creative problem-solving and critical thinking. All these skills happen to be innate to women.
  • Though traits like empathy, compassion & sensitivity that women are gifted with are considered weak, they are actually strong. Leaders should equip themselves with these traits to solve problems in today’s work world.
Present Education system

Our education system mainly trains us in technical knowledge & academic skills. But in contrast, most of the companies give less importance to degree and are looking for “smart generalists”

What needs to change?

  1. There is a need to broaden the vision & aspiration of women belonging to low-income communities. Presently, they have limited access to jobs related to creative and emotional intelligence
  2. More leadership roles should be assigned to women not only on paper but in the reality, especially in Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) that create the majority of employment
What approach needs to be adopted?

There is a need to adopt the multi-stakeholder approach so that women from lower-income groups can aspire to become financial analysts, copywriters, product managers etc. Gender, income, background, type of college should not  act as deterrence in their path

Employment scenario

Employability is becoming a socio-economic and humanitarian crisis. The causative factor is inequality. Youth and women from elite institutions are more likely to get jobs as they are equipped with soft skills demanded by the market.

So, there is a need to create a mechanism that enables seekers from a less privileged background to develop soft skills.

Way forward

It is up to corporates and the market to realize and fill this gap. They should make an effort towards creating equal opportunities and a secure environment for women. This will enable us to beat gender and socio-economic inequality.

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