Career Women and Work Life Balance -By Sayanti Ghosh [email_address]
Women – Then Traditionally the role of women used to be of cooking, cleaning , raising children etc. They were looked upon as caregiver or as homekeeper and were denied access outside home.
Women Now Today’s women have made their mark in every field. Be it literature, arts, politics, sports , Corporate or any other sphere women are ready to take up challenges.
What is Work Life Balance ? & When does it arise? <ul><li>Work Life balance is a phenomenon that occurs to those who are gainfully employed and have to manage their personal life. </li></ul><ul><li>We are all engaged in a number of roles everyday and we hold a number of roles throughout our life. Life conflict occurs when we are unable to give our “many roles” required time and energy as a result of which participation in one role is made increasingly difficult by participation in another. So, there is a need of Work life balance. </li></ul><ul><li>So, what exactly is work life balance? </li></ul><ul><li>Work life balance is the daily Achievement and Enjoyment in all spheres of life namely work, family, friends, health and spirit. </li></ul>
Work Work is the activity or effort that we put to produce or accomplish something. We work to put food on our table and roofs on our heads. We work toward the prospect of children in college and ourselves in rocking chairs. In other words: we work because we have to. People usually understand the world of work as it relates to making money. However, many reasons are often cited for wanting to work besides money which includes productivity, ambition, esteem and contribution to society.
Life Abraham Lincoln once said “And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” Life is more than just our age count it is a collage of our happiness, sadness, celebrations, peacefulness to name a few. When a door of happiness is closed, another opens but we continue to look at the closed door and we do not attach importance to that which we have just opened. We always think that the grass is greener the other side but the lucky ones inevitably do not have best of the best but they seek simply the best of what they see on their journey. What I am trying to say here is “Work” which is a part of “Life” is broadly related to certain aspects like ambition, acquisitions, achievements etc which may promote stress while a part of “Life” should be taken as stress releasing agent also. Though easier said than done but we may try to find out some ways to take “Life” as a stress releasing agent rather than a bag full of agony.
Balance Life is really busy these days and every day there are conflicting demands on our time from work, family, and half a dozen other sources. If we imagine our life as a game in which we are juggling some five balls in the air namely work , family , health , friends and spirit and keep all these in the air then we will soon understand that “ work” is a rubber ball if we drop it; it will bounce back but the other four balls are made of glass if we drop one of these they will be irrevocably scuffed or damaged or even shattered and they will never be the same again. Balance is always the key to a healthy living.
Women and Work Life Balance Times are changing from traditional where the husband earned, and the wife stayed at home to the modern when the husband earns and the wife earns too. But the wife still cooks, washes and runs the house. Although women have started spreading her wings in all spheres of life but the traditional concept of the women as the homemaker has not gone away from people’s mind. So, today’s women are striving continuously for “Work Life Balance”
…… .( contd )……. <ul><li>As already stated before Work life balance is not equal balance between work and personal activities. Life is and should be more flexible than this. </li></ul><ul><li>Our work life balance will vary from time to time, it may often vary day to day. </li></ul><ul><li>What is right balance for today may be different tomorrow. </li></ul><ul><li>The right balances when we are single will be different when we get married or if we get children. </li></ul><ul><li>So work life balance will be different at different quadrants of life on the basis of priorities. </li></ul><ul><li>Our aim will be the fullest achievement and enjoyment in all our spheres of life. </li></ul>
…… .( contd )……. <ul><li>Today’s women are mostly into full time services and are working 8 hours per day and 5 days in a week minimum and are confronted by increasing workload everyday. So, most of them carry work and responsibilities to home but balancing between these two complex situations in the present day fast life requires talent, tact, skill and caution. Almost 50-55% of the women are struggling to achieve work life balance. Women have to cope up with high work targets, office commitments, tight meeting schedules and the duties and responsibilities of life and home. Employers should concentrate on framing various policies and schemes to facilitate Work life balance to encourage and attract women employees. </li></ul>
Probable recommendations for employers <ul><li>Devote more resources to improving “people management” practices within the workplace. Employees who work for a supportive manager – one who is a good communicator, focuses on output as opposed to hours – report a greater ability to balance work and family than those who have a non-supportive manager. </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible timings. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilities for child care. </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging employees to use the supports that are readily available </li></ul><ul><li>and ensure that employees who could make use of such assistance do </li></ul><ul><li>not feel that their career prospects would be jeopardized by doing so. </li></ul><ul><li>Leave plans - both paid and unpaid - to suit employee's needs etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine employee workload concerns. </li></ul>
Probable recommendations for employees <ul><li>Take full advantage of what support policies exist within your organization. </li></ul><ul><li>The key is not only knowing your priorities, but devoting your full attention to just one priority at a time. "Split your time and your mind so that you're thinking about work when you're at work and you're paying attention to the baby when you're with him / her." </li></ul><ul><li>Devote at least 30 minutes to yourself in the form of yoga, listening to your favourite music or in your hobby. This helps to reduce stress. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to leave your workplace on time at least twice a week. </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule sometime with friend and family at least once in a month. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>According to the Registrar General of India, the proportion of women in the workforce in 1981 was 19.7 percent and it rose to 22.7 percent in 1991, further rising to 25.7 percent in 2001. Currently, in the Indian IT industry, women account for close to 30 percent of the total workforce and this is expected to increase to 45 percent by 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Working women have to handle tactfully her various spheres of life to achieve work life balance. She has to skillfully figure out ways in which she gets mutually benefited in all the quadrants of life. Achievement and enjoyment in all spheres will lead to Work Life Balance. </li></ul><ul><li>Hillary Rodham Clinton </li></ul><ul><li>says – </li></ul><ul><li>"Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is . . . For me, that balance is family, work, and service" </li></ul>