How Work from Home is Impacting Women
Modern women, working at software companies and other professional organizations, are successful, independent and walk alongside men in career decisions, career growth and unexplored opportunities. Despite significant obstacles, a woman’s role has exponentially expanded in the rural and urban workforce in recent times. The median female shares 45.4 percent of the global workforce. Working in two shifts, women manage the professional and personal tasks simultaneously. This positive growth that many women began witnessing has transformed as COVID-19 changed the world’s work culture and introduced us to the concept of “Work from Home,” also known as Remote work!
Work From Home has revolutionized work culture in umpteen ways. Minimized commute boosts productivity and ensures financial savings. Employees take fewer leaves to manage miscellaneous personal tasks and relax during breaks. Fewer office politics along with independence to work from anywhere, anytime are some of the perks of the remote work culture. While adapting to the culture during virtual office meets, there have also been humorous instances like wacky backgrounds, camera too far/ close, too much/ too less talking, weird noises/echo, frozen screens, no pants joke, pet/ children interruption, and so on.
Challenges of juggling multiple roles
As remote work comes with its own set of challenges, remote schooling is one such add on to working parents. This has left many of them citing feelings of apathy and fatigue as they fail to live up to their expectations across multiple roles. These expectations extend not just to being a parent but also a spouse, friend, family member or a caregiver. During the pandemic and now, most organizations have begun focusing on productivity rather than mental health. Given the pressure at home from work and family front, being a parent impacts the mother majorly. Eventually, in such circumstances, she is termed a liability to the company.
The burnout is real
In Software Development Companies, women work two shifts each day. They take complete ownership of family care as well as handle the domestic work. As per research done by Mckinsey, 60% of mothers with young children spend five more hours each day at housework, equivalent to a part-time job. Women fear that they will be penalized because they are focusing on household work. According to the Mckinsey report, 42% of women report being burned out this year.
Close to 80% of managers claim to be allies; they promise to give equal opportunities and promotion to women of all nationalities, roles, statuses etc. But, when it comes to execution, the number drops down drastically.
The pandemic has given us successful women leaders like Whitney Wolfe Herd (Owner of Bumble - dating app), Mary Barra (CEO – General Motors), Sonia Cheng (CEO- Rosewood Hotel Group), Falguni Nayar (Founder- Nykaa) Reddy sisters (Directors - Apollo Hospitals), Zia Mody (Partner- AZB law firm), and many more. These women are professional combatants. A successful woman outruns obstacles based on race, nationality, color, marital status, motherhood, and physical incapabilities on her professional progress path right from the entry-level; such victorious women deserve a salute.
Women provide emotional support at workplace
As per reports, over 100 men, only 86 women progress the career ladder due to these hurdles. Women expand their horizons as well as uplift their peers. As per research, women senior leaders do more work to help their employees navigate work-life challenges compared to male leaders. They spend 60% more of their time providing emotional support to their employees and home.
According to the Mckinsey report, about 25% of companies have begun to review women performance and reward them for providing emotional support and guidance to their employees. They are regularly in check with such burned-out women who guide and motivate them.
Work From Home culture has its pros and cons. It is an opportunity for a few women who planned to resign to take care of their families and an obstacle to the working mothers struggling to strike the work-life balance. However, the allies are motivating the stressed women.
From the creation of the work to the present time, women have always outshone situations with their endurance. And with every victory, they fire away the obstacle blocking the transition.
As the famous British Ethologist Jane Goodall known for exceptionally detailed research on Chimpanzees has quoted,
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
In this work from home juggle, what women really need is more empathy, understanding and support from their Software Organizations and workplaces, in order to give their best to both their worlds and still emerge rock stars. And, the first step towards that is to stop making them feel guilty for the massive responsibility they take as women in different roles. With support, they grow themselves in their careers and also put their workplaces on a progressive path.
(Author: Alisha Fernandes is an inquisitive learner & content writer at TechDoQuest)