Choices women shouldn’t have to make

Unprecedented times. Unplanned for reality. These are some of the descriptors that may be used to define the state of countries, societies, organisations, families and individuals, today. As individuals, micro-constituents of entities that are strategizing to beat the challenge, how about taking the crisis by it horns, embarking on an introspective spiral and contributing to better ways of living?

This is what we at Avtar Women did and we now have this list of Top five choices women (half of the sky!) shouldn’t have to make:

1. To choose between family and a career

This is a global phenomenon. Women’s workforce participation rate is substantially lesser than men’s across geographies, across societies. The male breadwinner, female care-taker family model results in many women (pursuing careers) taking a break at critical junctures involving care-giving – motherhood or elder care. While this may be a choice many women consciously make, in many cases, the decision is not entirely the woman’s. If organizations are to be cognizant of career enabling needs of women and families more supportive of a woman’s career aspirations, this will be a choice any women will not have to make.

2. To choose educational courses perceived to be lighter and easier to pursue a career on

This is unfortunately a choice that millions of women/girls have had to make. Encouraging girls to take up courses that will lead them on to ‘manageable’ careers (that will ensure quality work-life integration) is common place. Why do you have to pursue an MBA or an engineering is a question many girls get asked. This is a choice; we wish women do not have to make. Ultimately, what one becomes is what one dreams, what one is encouraged to dream! 

3. To take a pay cut as they make successful career comebacks

Gender wage gap is prevalent, across organizations, across sectors. While discerning organizations are working towards ensuring gender wage parity, this becomes more pronounced when women make career comebacks. A 2019 research by Avtar revealed that 69% of women on career breaks in India, anticipate a pay cut when they make a career return. If organizations are to critically look at the talent potential of this talent pool and women on their part proactively plan come-backs (undertake up-skilling interventions and negotiate with potential employers), this choice could be nullified. 

4. To take ownership of three Cs, even as young girls

This is how gendered roles are driven when children are boxed to activities at a very young age. When little girls are told that they have to warm up to the 3 Cs – Cooking, Cleaning and Caring pretty early (because that would benefit them in the future), the choice is many a times sealed. This perpetuates gender stereotypes and the gender skew in care-giving continues. This is definitely a choice young girls shouldn’t have to make.

5.  To be silent victims/spectators of body shaming

Multiple researches have shown that women/girls are more likely to be body shamed than men/boys. Often women choose to not react to seemingly frivolous comments on their appearance and body language, to not ruffle feathers. This leads to power equations in gender thrive, in extreme cases leading to emotional and physical abuse. If women/girls do not really have to make the choice of being a silent bearer, we as a society could go a long way in reducing the rate of crimes against women and children.

So these are our thoughts! What are yours? Add on to the comments below.


The double whammy every working woman faces

 

 

 

Article By Lakshmi Vijaykumar, Principal Research Consultant – AVTAR Group

A few months ago, a comic visual that nailed the challenges faced by a working woman climbing the corporate ladder made waves in the Internet world. The image was shared on Twitter by Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Indian business conglomerate Mahindra Group. He mentioned on his self-realization moment while baby-sitting his one-year old grandson at home.

Read More » “The double whammy every working woman faces”


India Inc can fight patriarchy with gender-inclusive policies

Padma, who sells delicious kozhukattais (a sweet dish) out of a small roadside eatery at a busy corner of T Nagar (Chennai), was having a raging argument with her 26-year-old daughter. Read More » “India Inc can fight patriarchy with gender-inclusive policies”


Gender Diversity – How to include Men in the conversation?

 

Image courtesy – Pixabay.

Article by: Karthik Ekambaram, Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion Consulting, AVTAR Group.

“Increasing women’s participation in workplace is not a gender issue. But it’s a human issue. Or, rather it’s a business case.” 

That Gender Diversity is a business issue and that companies today strive for a balanced and inclusive workplace are well established facts in corporate. So why is that mounting evidences pointing towards economic advantages with gender equity still not making the requisite mark in the industry leaving the gender balance issue still sparse and scattered? Read More » “Gender Diversity – How to include Men in the conversation?”


Teaching Inclusion To Our Children (Story-telling)

Image Credit : Freepik

Article By  Shruti M – Presales Consultant, Team AVTAR

Children should be taught inclusion at a young age and why diversity has to be accepted. Lessons on friendship, kindness, acceptance, adjustment should be instilled in them early on so that they can learn to build positive relationships. Children experience diversity in different forms in their daily life which will teach them to get along with everyone – making their world a happy and friendly place. The message of friendship and understanding is essential for relationships to flourish in a congenial environment. Read More » “Teaching Inclusion To Our Children (Story-telling)”


What’s In Your Tiffin Box ?

Image Credit : Canva

Article By  Shruti M – Presales Consultant, Team AVTAR

Food goes beyond language and religion connecting everyone across offices, homes, schools, eateries, trains, buses globally. Looking anxiously at the clock repeatedly waiting for lunch time is one of those everyday habits which we look forward to with much enthusiasm. Read More » “What’s In Your Tiffin Box ?”


How To Be A Best Company For Women In India – 2018

Article Compiled By  Shruti M – Presales Consultant, Team AVTAR

The inaugural edition of BCWI in 2016 saw more than 350 companies participating and the 100 Best and the Top 10 being listed, alphabetically. The second edition launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017, had over 360 applicants. Read More » “How To Be A Best Company For Women In India – 2018”


A Woman’s Wish-List for all Indian Women Professionals on International Women’s Day

Article By Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President, AVTAR Group

Let me not talk about the business case for why we need more women in the Indian workplace. Why? Because, we all know the answer to that. Diversity leads to profitability, productivity and creativity, dummy! Read More » “A Woman’s Wish-List for all Indian Women Professionals on International Women’s Day”


Intentional Career Pathing: Participant Testimonials

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Article By Shruti M- Presales Consultant, Team AVTAR

ICP (Intentional Career Pathing) is a trademark corporate training program for women professionals by AVTAR Group. AVTAR conducted a six month training program for IBM leading to real transformation in the lives of women professionals!

Intentional Career Pathing is a method of developing specific skills convergent with mid-term and long-term career milestones which will enable a woman to pursue her vision successfully and sustainably.

We are very excited to present few IBM Participant testimonials who attended DISHA ICP: Read More » “Intentional Career Pathing: Participant Testimonials”


“Famous 5” of the Gender Diversity Discussions

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Article By Ms. Saraswathi Ramachandra, Associate Director – Personal Banking and Analytics team from India, Danske IT a fully owned subsidiary of Danske Bank

While one country passes a landmark judgement ruling equal pay for women and men, back home in one of the networking events over dinner, one of the Sr. Leaders asked me, “Why are companies focusing on diversity hiring? Why should there be special hiring focus and what value does it add to the company for investing so much to hire women employees? ”. Read More » ““Famous 5” of the Gender Diversity Discussions”