BY ROHINI.K M.

PHIL (MANAGEMENT)

There has been a steady rise in the number of working women in India. Whether it is literature, business, politics, IT, or media female employees are no longer a rare species in any of these spheres. But the fact remains that these women, no matter what position they hold, they still have to confront with their male counterparts at the workplace. In order to sail smoothly in a man friendly corporate world, it is important that women deal with the situation tactfully without blaming their biological status.

Although times are changing even today, some men have ego problems with women sharing the same workplace as them. There is also a perception that for a female employee, a job is just a time pass, after all they do not need to support a family! It is the responsibility of the women executives to resolve such issues either with the help of their female colleagues or those male colleagues who are supportive enough. .

A counselor dealing with women issues suggests, Develop a positive mindset and never suffer from an inferiority complex because you belong to the fairer sex. Try to be yourself and not just a woman. Leave all your inhibitions behind. In fact every woman whether working or otherwise has a lot of strength which can be used to their advantage.

Any personal differences fostered by men against women or vice- versa should be kept aside in the interest of the organization. In the workplace, people should judge each other by their performance and professionalism only. Cooperation and not confrontation should be the buzzword in the corporate world. After all gender conflict will ultimately hurt the progress of the organization in the long run

Most workers would like to have more flexible work schedules while the work gets done without any loss of productivity. Flexibility comes in several forms: in alternative work schedules (flexi-time and compressed work weeks), in the number of hours worked (e.g. parttime or shared jobs), in the place of work (e.g. working at home or a satellite location) and time off to take care of family members or one self. In today's technology, opportunities to telecommute to work are very easy and inexpensive. Those who tried it reported that they are more productive working from home.

The frequently cited benefits related to FLEXI-TIME JOBS were:
Personal or family needs were fulfilled. School or training assignments were able to be completed. Less stress. Gender bias were avoided Freedom from sexual harassments. Greater work satisfaction Most of those seeking flexibility were women, while very few men have asked for the same flexibility.

The most frequent reasons for not asking for flexible work hours was the fear that they would be less likely to advance in their careers, promotions and salary increases. Lack of interpersonal relationship. Cannot be able to evaluate organizational climate/culture because of male dominated work environment. Lack of organizational exposure. Healthy competition is missing because of flexi-time jobs

A nationwide alumni networking initiative has been launched among women¶s colleges to provide part-time jobs to women who quit careers to cope with the demands of home-making. Chennai-based talent strategy consulting firm, Avtar Career Creators launched its women-focused HR initiative to tap into the legacy of women¶s colleges in the city by firming up the first of a series of MoUs with MOP Vaishnav College for Women.

The MoU with MOP Vaishnav College will offer flexi-time career opportunities for the alumni of the institution to commence similar tie-ups with alumni networks of women¶s colleges across the country. The initiative expects to help the hundreds of qualified and skilled women who had quit careers or chosen not to venture into full-time employment because of overriding family priorities.

The tie-ups will open up part-time job opportunities for alumni courtesy of the Avtar I-WIN (Interim Women Managers Interface Network) portal that serves as a web interface linking organizations requiring talents for part-time jobs or project-based interim managerial roles and the community of job-seekers.

According to Ms. Saundarya Rajesh, Chief Executive of Avtar has rightly pointed out: ´Finding the right flex-timing jobs for this vast talent base would serve several purposes, help industry source skills virtually laid to waste, trigger women·s empowerment and on a larger scale enable the invaluable contribution of women to national wealth.µ

Since

the

1990·s

women

have

been

identified as key agents of sustainable development and women·s equality and empowerment are seen as central to a more holistic approach and towards of

establishing

new

patterns

processes

development that are sustainable. The World Bank has suggested that

empowerment of women should be a key aspect of all social development programs (World Bank, 2001).

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