Until a few years ago, women across the world and especially in India had a very different set of responsibilities as compared to that of men- Homemaking! While men were expected to go out and work for their and their family’s livelihoods, the women would stay back to take care of the home. Women then didn’t know what it was like to “follow passion” and “growing career”. What women did know was how to make a house a home- having a lingering fragrance of a tasty home cooked meal, having clothes neatly tucked away, having clean warm sheets to sleep on and so on. But, the downside of the same was, the women rarely got to try something new. For centuries this tradition was a norm for women.
However, the 21st century saw a transcending change in women’s role from being a simple homemaker to a career-oriented woman. Overcoming the traditional mindsets, women today, are standing tall and working towards shouldering responsibilities with men in all fields, be it in war, in the Rajya Sabha, in the office or even in the kitchen. In fact, over the past 60 years, a noticeable desire for a change has been witnessed by the women themselves. This desire has paved their way in the world of business while managing their household responsibilities as well.
Women in Workplaces
Breaking the glass ceiling, women have proven their skills by acquiring the leadership roles in the corporate sectors diligently. Certain roles and positions which were earlier considered non-suitable for women have now been occupied by the very same gender. A report by the United Nations titled, 'Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development', noted that achieving sustainable development goals could be difficult without gender equality and women empowerment. With such realizations taking place, it can be said that the corporate world has changed for women and by women. Furthermore, research by Catalyst, ‘Women in the Workforce- India’ acknowledged that young women have been moving into non-traditional jobs, for example in the army, STEM, programming, etc.
It is also important to note, that with the changing times, the Government and workplaces too have not only adapted to the dynamic addition but have been accommodating towards their needs. While safety, equality, etc. is maintained for all employees alike, women are given the additional flexibility required to maintain a work-life balance. For example, the Lok Sabha’s Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill has made it mandatory for women to be entitled to a paid maternity leaves of 26 weeks. This encourages women to pursue a balanced family and professional life.
The real estate sector, once predominantly considered as a man’s world, has also gradually witnessed the dynamism brought by women. Women are now an active participant in this sector and are not just looking after their homes but also constructing homes. This sex has taken up roles not just behind the desk but also as architects, engineers, realtors, and brokers, etc. According to the NAR 2018 Member Profile Report, women account for 63 percent of all real estate agents. The recently introduced government policies such as Demonetization, Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act and Good and Services Act, has led to an overall consolidation of the industry making it more organized. Additionally, with relaxed FDI norms, more multinational players have made their way into the country. All of this has also resulted in creating more opportunities for women in the sector.
Technically speaking, women today have redefined “homemaking”. These new- age homemakers are in fact an unstoppable force now- not restricting themselves to just real estate jobs but moving up the ladder to leadership roles in real estate companies. Women in the realty sector have excelled in the perpetual roles of managing house finances to heading the finance department, beautifying their homes to designing homes for all, saving a little sum from the monthly bills to charting profits through sales and marketing and so much more.
Willingness to take risks and surpassing expectations in getting the work done are a few of the strength that adds to the excellence of women. Moreover, empathy, flexibility, and strong interpersonal skills further help them in understanding the situations with accuracy and fetch positive results from all the possible fronts. Aspects once considered as weakness are now strengths of women employees. Be it household chores or professional fronts, women have proved themselves to be leaders in multi-tasking and maintaining a work-life balance. The IMF estimated that India’s GDP could grow by 27 percent if the number of female workers increased to 50 percent, marking a clear testament to the contribution of women in the corporate world. These new- age homemakers are here to stay and will continue to add to the business and the economy as a whole.