Work – life balance for women Strategy

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Dhaarini SRINIVASAN

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Junior Human Resources Officer

Work – life balance for women Strategy

Every country including developed countries those who achieved better gender equality strive to achieve work-life balance of women. Still, women have to bear disproportionate burden of household work, caretaking of their child or elderly dependants compared to men. Many women withdraw from their career life when they get married, plan for their family, and/or when they go higher positions with more responsibilities due the same reason.

The developed countries are trying to achieve both gender equality and work-life balance having a policy of engaging a worker with family responsibilities, without discrimination. Whereas in the countries like India, the personal life of a woman is the one of the major influencing factors that affects the decision of hiring managers. Being, socio-cultural values and the organisations’ strategies are inter-dependent variables, the strategies of developed countries could not be copied without making a considerable change in the national Human Resources policy.

Meanwhilein private sectors, thetrendssuch as ‘Work from home’ and ‘flexible working hours’ are booming. These two have major advantages for both the employees and the organisation. At the same time, these have the constraints that are lack of computer access at home; and for time-bound jobs like call-centres. These two techniques would be even more successful if the organisations approach them as challenge not a hindrance.

Apart from the above, the following strategies are highly successful in many developed countries where they have adapted to their own socio-cultural values:

  • Promoting Part-time in permanent jobs – This is especially for women before and after pregnancy, or for any strong personal/medical reasons, where they maintain their same permanent job with lesser working hours.
  • Promoting temporary full-time jobs – this would be a replacement of a permanent employee who is away for long period (between 6 months to one year) any personal reasons like post- maternity complications or extended maternity holidays. In this case, any senior (women) employee could take care of their personal issues without losing their jobs. At the same time, the organisation is creating more employment opportunities by providing temporary jobs.

Being a Human Resources professional by myself, I have learnt that Human Recourses department could benefit both the management and the employees without losing their reputation and Good-will by having right strategies at right time.

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