Can women have it all? Gen Z women and their approach to work.
There is a need to understand the next generation of women who will join the workforce – how they view their careers, their professional competencies and their contribution to the workforce. In order to accomplish this, Talerang launched a survey of Gen Z women (born after 1995) and Gen X women (mid 1960s – early 1980s), and compared the results. Some key insights that emerge are that Gen Z women, when given the chance, are flexible, responsible and feel ready for a managerial role at work. Contrary to what we expected, we found that 74% of Gen Z women feel encouraged to work as hard as their spouse as compared to 17% of Gen X women! While in Gen X, a career break was the norm, less than 50% of urban Gen Z women plan to take a career break.
There are several ways that we as a society and corporations can ensure more women enter the workforce and succeed as well:
- Build self-esteem and confidence through effective mentorship: Based on our survey that was taken by over 100 students from some of the top colleges of the country, only 35% women claim to be able to influence people on their point of view. Women self-report a lower score on communication and confidence building. Effective mentorship and guidance would bring in them the required self-belief and self confidence, thereby boosting their contribution at the workplace. Women tend to look up to their role models for aspiration in times of need. They generally need some sort of support system to sustain their personal and professional lives. Women have a lot of challenges outside the workplace. While there are women who tend to manage both their personal and professional lives with a fair amount of ease, I feel it’s easier said than done.
- Families should encourage women to work: By building social networks, women have more support and greater opportunities to effect change in their communities. Once a network is in place, women feel that they are not alone in facing issues and are inspired to help other women in their community by sharing their knowledge on the subject. Men need to encourage their wives and daughters to go out there and work, and not expect women to take on more than they can chew. “I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all.” – Indra Nooyi, CEO, PepsiCo. In India, the sheer amount of expectations and pressures on women is alarming! As a woman, you are expected to cook meals for the family, look after the house, take care of your children, be socially acceptable at family gatherings and still manage to get work done at office. It’s physically impossible to be in 2 places at once – society needs to understand that if a woman is working, the others in her family will need to step in and help her with the household responsibilities.
- Equal pay for equal work: Based on our survey, women self-report to be more responsible, professional at work and punctual. Interestingly, 13% more women claim that they are able to effectively manage their time and 14% more women self report that they are more flexible as compared to men! Also, 33% of Gen Z women self report to pay attention to detail at work as opposed to 26% of Gen Z men! Based on the manager feedback we received, women performed at an equal footing at the Talerang internships last year. Why is there a disparity in the quality of employment opportunities for men and women? Why are men paid more than women for doing the same job? This mindset needs to change and women need to be appropriately compensated for their quality of work.
“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook. Interestingly, if India increases its women’s labour force participation by 68 million by 2025, India could increase its GDP by 16%!
We need to educate organisations on how to adequately prepare for this new generation of women because it makes business sense for them, and our nation as a whole!
Link to the published article: http://bit.ly/2km9R1M