Women’s Day Special: Problems Encountered by Women at Workplace and Remedies

The 100th International Women’s Day will be celebrated  all over the world tomorrow i.e. 8th March 2011.  It is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions the focus of the celebration ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.

Sometimes actually it hurts a lot to think that why just one day to the person who makes things special for us, be it the relation of a mother, a sister, a wife or daughter or a Manager… they care, they nurture and they provide the balance in our lives.

No, I’m not being a feminist, yes I’m in all my senses but then I’m not writing to make you men feel any less important.

The agenda today is to give a special tribute to women by at least acknowledging some problems they come across while they are at work and what as HR professionals we can do to contribute towards their safety, security and prosperity in our respective companies.

Here we go:

# Harassment – It can be in any form, physical, mental or sexual and we cannot ignore it as it is the number one priority to make them safe from any kind of harassment they come across while at work. Many women throughout India, leave their jobs because of harassment they come across in their organization, be it from a colleague, a boss or a subordinate, the only resort they are left with is change of job.

# Security: Actually harassment and security are interconnected, if you as the employer do not provide them security then harassment is bound to happen. Not many women would like their spouse, boy friends or family members to accompany them while commuting specially the ones who work in graveyard shifts or come back home late. The employer is oblivious of the factor that some places are not safe for women in India, so they do not take the responsibility of their safety and security, in fact some of them even discourage the recruitment of women.

# Glass Ceiling: Though it may not come across as a major problem to most, but it is a very serious issue for a woman who wants to make her career and is ambitious. Most of the time due to their maternity break, or marriage or any such family issues female have to take a backseat at the workplace also. As a 6 month break during maternity can take away their chance of a promotion, hike in salary or various other benefits and so on and so forth.

# Discrimination: Oh yes, this is also a concern, mostly the discrimination comes on the grounds…that females may not be able to travel, their marriage, their maternity break, their ability to lead a specific team, a stereo typed approach that females are suitable for some specific jobs etc. Some times even with the same experience and expertise they are paid less salary without being given a reason.

As HR professionals we can support them in many ways…

  • Harassment policies: Have a clear cut harassment policy, commencing of each and every kind of harassment females can come across. And yes, the harassment policy is equally important for both men and women as there are cases where men are also the victim. The idea here is to have a policy which states all the guidelines and can invoke trust in the employees.
  • Break the glass ceiling, have an equal opportunity policy for both men and women. What if a female takes a break for 3 months or 6 months, do they need to give away their promotion just because they are blessed with the most precious gift of God. No, the answer lies in your performance appraisal policy that needs to be defined and should deal with cases like this.
  • No discrimination, no stereo type approach of deciding their future. If you are a boss then you should be more passionate to work with a female colleague as you can learn many things from her and similarly she can learn things from men. Do not perceive unless she herself tells you about her not being able to travel, or handle a team. Some times perception may kill some one’s chances of growth.
  • Safety and security policy in place: Yes, we all have it, but the question is how good it is for your female staff. Do they still travel alone with a driver at night, or they are not picked up from home after 9 pm. Does a guard accompany them at night? These are just some of the issues which can be resolved if we believe in the equal opportunity policy.

If you have all these remedies make sure you gift them by making these policies work as per the requirements of your female staff and contribute to their freedom today.

  • Anshu Kamboj

    Ratio of women is increasing at the work place. It is the need of the hour and nobody can deny this.
    Senerio and the profiles of the jobs available in the maket is also changing. Now people have to work 24*7 environment.
    Security is becoming prime issue because of so many incidents happening in various regions specially in NCR.

    Yesterday also 2 businessmen were killed. Safety of women is very critical issue for every organisation. In BPO sector already some measures are being taken like- a security guard will accompany if girl is alone along with the driver etc

  • Madamanchianusha

    nice women is precious to earth don’t hesitate her

  • Rahul_ecit

    nice article. gender equality should be adopted in workplaces. women and men both should treat equal to each other. Gender issues act as barrier to perform, building relations etc…..and then the tasks get overlooked.

  • Angel

    Hey,, i want few jokes related to men and women..could u please share with me?

  • nice article.Women are a precious gift from God!!
    We have to respect them not only in aspect of wife or girlfriend,but in aspect of As a mother,sister wife also……….


    Good article. Let us respect women in every field, then only prosperity would come.
    Change the policies if required to suit their requirement.

  • Yogendra Dikshit

    Women are the better half of the human race. They are blessed with the ability to create and hence are creator like the God. To support their biological role they need better & more up-keep of their body & mind and hence their remunaration & facilities must be matched to their biological role. They are blessed with deep emotions because that is needed again to support their biological role. However since they are bodily delicate the men blessed with brut force(which is a need of man’s biological role) they have turned women subordinate in the society. In an industry “President” HR or “President” procurement are equal in status. Similarily equality sould be determined by the capability of meeting role delivery. Clever men have given a slogan of eqality and that does not consider the biological fact. In my openion women should be paid more than men or same job. They be given more casul leaves than men.Maternity leave should looked at with grace and not cause of loosing job ours.Certain jobs need to kept reserved for women as they will be more efficient to deliver the out put.
    State and society looks at women from the point of sexulity. In a country where women are able to influence the state governence, politics & policies still you have obscenity in media, internet, expresion of family planing in state sponsered adv. etc. Why in the process of decion making they do not have 50% role. Why HR policies are not taking care of security. You raise a company of few crores but why for women employees do not consider a housing complex close to company or special secured transport. Women should strive for their right share in the society, industry & governence and not equality. Women must make sure to keep their interests unmingled from politics. Best wishes. Yogendra Dikshit, ISRO.

  • Archna Khurana Sharma

    Thanks Everyone…Lets just work towards removing obstacles coming in the way of success of women in our respective organisation.
    Start thinking of how many Women CEOs or Directors are there in Indian Companies and you can count the names and numbers on fingers…the causes have been mentioned now it is upto all of us to work towards their betterment.

    Thanks again for taking out precious time to read and comment on articles.

  • Vidushi

    Indeed A day in a year dedicated to women is nothing but a marketing strategy like many other trivial occasions to offer discounts, sales etc.While in the broad daylight, the safety of women is still a major concern.The irony of the situation is that many of the women are unaware of the harrasment or emotional abuse caused to them by the society or the employers as they have been conditioned like that. But all said and done, we do need to design policies and laws to help them. This for all women out there……….keep this number handy-1091 in case of distress.