Challenges faced by Women employees in the Workplace cannot be ignored….
Given the statistics and surveys at workplaces taken by various organizations, the ultimate conclusion is that women employees, women team leads and women bosses make a critical and essential part of the workforce. However, there is no denying that fact even when there is a significant growth in the number of women employees and women in leadership roles, yet, the conservative patriarchal mindset still exists, which acts as a barrier to their progress.
Here are some of the problems that female employees in senior-level positions face in Indian workplaces. In fact, these are some common problems for most female employees, irrespective of the job role and position. Let us also find out how HR and management can look to solve these common challenges faced by women in the workplace:
Lack of inclusiveness
When a woman takes up a senior position in a male-dominated domain, they usually feel isolated, less inclusive and less accepted by male colleagues. Such a situation generates less productivity, brings down their occupation fulfillment, and reduces work efficiency and much more.
What HR and Management can do
Strengthen employees’ co-existence and co-operation through recreational and engagement programs and activities that can help encourage women workers to assimilate into the office environment.
No equal pay
It’s not India alone but many countries worldwide where women consistently confront unequal pay than their male counterparts. According to data from the 2017 U.S. Census Bureau, a woman on an average earns 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns. In India, despite the same qualifications, Indian men get 30% more pay than women, according to the latest reports.
What HR and Management can do
- A wage review should be conducted and no inequalities in Payscale should be adopted in your working environment
- A strategy of non-negotiation should also be implemented
Usually no high level jobs are assigned to women
Women in Indian workplaces usually don’t have access to the jobs at the top level as available to men. The reasons given are: women cannot stay back at the office for long hours, they cannot or do not want to travel, they have time constraints, and so on. So, in the end, in spite of being qualified, it’s in very rare cases, you will find women at the top positions. In India, while women constitute a good part of the Indian workforce, they make up less than 5% of CEOs and top management level positions.
What HR and managers can do:
- Make a steadfast decision to help female workers.
- Hire women professionals at authority positions to set an example.
- Empower employees, both men and women, to advance their roles and skills quicker
How can we forget the problem of sexual harassment, which is a persistent problem in most workplaces in our country? This sexual harassment leads to a heavy loss in the work environment with increased absentees, low efficiency and commitment, more resignations, low confidence and so on.
What HR and management can do:
- Develop and implement strict protocols to prevent harassment.
- Ensure access to quick mechanisms for complaining against such behavior.
- Ensure proper punishment to the guilty.
Last but not the least, another challenge that women face in the workplace is something related to motherhood and pregnancy. There are many organizations which hesitate to hire a newly married woman on the ground that she will soon become pregnant and go for a long leave. Similarly, there are many women who are scared of starting a family knowing that their career will most likely be hampered. There are many working women who give up their jobs to start their family or they prefer to stay at home and work from home. And of course, when a woman joins back office after maternity leave, she may not be given the same profile as earlier and she has to start all over again to create her mark. But, men don’t have the same issue when becoming a father.
What HR and management can do
- Ensure that the women employees get back the same job and same position when they join back after maternity leave
- Conduct training programs to help them upgrade their skills which they had missed during their long period of leave
- Arrange for crèches in office campus so that they don’t have to leave their job