Times have changed in India. No so long ago husbands earned and wives stayed at home. Today, it is more and more frequent to see both spouses are going out to work. However, women who work outside of the home still deal with most, if not all, of the cooking, washing and everyday running of the household. So, how do these women balance professional obligations and family duties?
Over the years women in India have struggled to establish an identity and create a mark in the social as well as in the organizational platforms, educational institutions are training more and more women to enter professional careers and this has drastically changed the scenario in terms of the types of careers Indian women wish to enter.
Between 1991 and 2001 female employment in India on the whole increased by 3.6% per annum. Within the professional world, which reflects India's small but growing middle class more than the country as a whole, the phenomenon of Indian women "breaking through the glass ceiling" is muted. Despite legal provisions made by acts like those of the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 (which promulgates equal payment for equal work, regardless of gender and prohibits gender discrimination in hiring practices), the so-called "glass ceiling" is perhaps still very prevalent within organizations.
India is experiencing skills and labour shortages resulting in a highly competitive labour market at a local, national and international level. Sustaining a competitive advantage means retaining and attracting high quality employees and potential employees. Indian women are becoming increasingly visible and successful in the professional and public sphere. Whether it is Barkha Dutt, who has become a idol for certain journalists, Arundhati Roy, a Booker Prize Winner and a social activist, or Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who became the wealthiest Indian woman after the initial public offering of her company, Biocon , they have all heralded the arrival of Indian women professionals.
The increase in women's participation in the workforce, the changing role of fathers, low fertility rates and a corresponding ageing population has also resulted in a need for flexibility in the workplace to accommodate the personal, social, community and cultural needs and interests of employees
This essay looks at how the increasing numbers of Indian women who study and continue on to enter professional careers manage to find a balance between their professional obligations and ambitions and the demands of a family and home life. It aims to:
- Understand what work life balance is for Indian women
- Identify the importance of such a balance for women
- Identify the challenges and problems faced by working women in India
- Discuss how women can maintain a balance between the workplace and home
- Identify barriers to work life balance
- Identify the effects of imbalance
- Suggest how to improve and maintain work life balance
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO WORK LIFE BALANCE
1.2 What is Work/Life Balance?
1.2.1 Framework for successful Work-Life Balance in organizations
1.3 Stress and Work-Life Balance?
1.4 Benefits of Work Life Balance
1.4.1 Individual Benefits
1.4.2 Organizational Benefits
1.5 Objectives Of Study
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.2 Role of Women in Today's Society
2.3 Why do Women Work?
2.4 The Importance of Balance for Women
2.5 Women – Professional versus Housewife
2.6 Women juggle with work and family
2.7 The Three Pillars of Work/Life Balance in Organizations
2.7.1 The Programmatic Level
2.7.2 The Cultural Level
2.7.3 Individual Responsibility and Accountability
2.8 Responsibility of Employers
2.9 Challenges Faced by Working Women in India
2.10 Advantages and Disadvantages of working women and housewives
CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH & FINDINGS
3.1. Changing & increasing work pressures
3.2. Reasons of Imbalance
3.3. Barriers to Work Life Balance
3.5 Work-life balance issues and their influence on children
CHAPTER 4: SUGGESTIONS
4.1. Suggestions to balance work with family
APPENDIX - I
The 21 Leading Businesswomen in India