10 Problems Faced By Working Women In India!

Are you a GenZ woman who will soon join the workforce soon? Here are 10 problems faced by working women in India that you should know about!

Are you a GenZ woman who will soon join the workforce soon? Here are 10 problems faced by working women in India that you should know about!

Since every system in the patriarchal society is designed to favour and cater for the needs and interests of men, it should not be a surprising fact that the challenges faced by women in the workplace are quite different from men.

Every woman is a working woman, the only difference is that some get paid for their work and others don’t; however, sexism in the lives of both kinds of women, remains the only constant.

10 Problems faced by working women In India

As young women, we are navigating an entirely new world! And as women, we are always told to be prepared in advance! Don’t panic, but it’s always better to learn about workplace discrimination so that you can identify them.

So here are the most common, yet implicit, workplace challenges faced by working women in India!

Gender pay gap

You are being paid less for the same job that is being performed by a man, only because you are a woman! How does the reason even make sense?

It’s exasperating to know that we still have to fight for equal pay in the 21st century. Either you are not getting paid, or you are getting paid less, there is no middle ground in the patriarchal society.

Sexual harassment

Many companies conduct occasional workshops, awareness and counselling sessions regarding women’s safety; yet, like in almost every other situation and place, in the workplace environment too, men are unable to control their urge to make their colleagues uncomfortable with their filthy comments and behaviour.

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And unfortunately, in many cases, it’s the harassed and not the harasser who have to bear the consequences.

Being ‘mansplained’

Though there is no escaping from mansplaining in your daily life as well, its intensity just exemplifies in the workplace. People just look at you and assume you don’t know what you are talking about just because you are a woman.

They consider you less rational and hence assign you more ‘menial’ jobs like deciding the colour or theme of the presentation rather than giving you a seat at the table.

Being too ‘bossy’

When a woman speaks her mind and shares her ideas, she is labelled as ‘bitchy’, ‘bossy’ or ‘too loud’; whereas if the same qualities are displayed by a man, he would be carried around the room.

This makes it difficult for women to speak up in a room full of men and reduces their visibility, which might further act as a hindrance to their promotion.

Work-life balance

Single mothers and working mothers face the challenge of a double burden, where they are expected to manage their professional and personal life simultaneously.

Most of them also suffer through what is known as the ‘superwoman syndrome’, because of which they feel guilty if they are unable to juggle all the tasks at the same time.

This results in burn-outs, and exhaustion, and might also lead to the development of depression or other mental disorders.

Not given the due credit

If a woman can make it to a top position or accomplish something, one of the most common statements that one gets to hear is ‘she slept her way to the top’; and I believe anyone who says this statement is projecting their own insecurity.

Instead of taking into consideration the person’s hard work, she is accused of using her sexuality to get her way. When she flaunts her sexuality she is promiscuous and when it doesn’t, she is ‘lame’.

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Pregnancy discrimination

Getting married or pregnant is not solely a personal choice of a woman, but unfortunately she also needs to take into consideration the consequences of the same on her career.

Pregnancy discrimination occurs when a woman is treated in an unjust manner due to her medical condition.

When a woman gets pregnant, the managers view her as a person ‘who will leave a project in the middle’, hence they might be sceptical in handing them over good opportunities or even letting them continue with their existing projects, which hinders her professional growth.

The grooming gap

The grooming gap or the beauty expectation gap refers to the often silent expectations around appearance imposed on women workers, which disproportionately affects them financially (when a wide wage gap is already existing) as well as imposes time constrictions.

For a woman to ‘look the part’, in many work settings she is expected to meet certain beauty standards such as well-manicured nails, wearing make-up and ‘appropriate’ clothes; and by appropriate I am assuming they mean those types of clothes which must not ‘excite’ the male colleagues but at the same must make them look ‘elegant’.

Feeling guilty for being successful

When women progress in their careers they receive backlash from their male colleagues as well as their romantic partner in the form of sarcastic comments, passive aggression, gaslighting or guilt-tripping.

As a result of which, in case of any achievement, a woman starts feeling like an imposter and feels guilty about her success.

Less opportunities in male-dominated fields

When an industry consists of 25% or less number of women, it is regarded as male-dominated. These often include fields like STEM, engineering, finance and IT, which are more high-paying as compared to other jobs.

However, women who choose to pursue a career in these fields don’t have access to career advancement opportunities and are also paid low as compared to their male counterparts. Moreover, they are pushed back from taking up major projects because they are not considered to be ‘rational’.

In conclusion

Apart from these, there are countless explicit and implicit challenges a working woman has to face in their workplace setting which, in some way or the other also has an effect on their personal lives and vice-versa.

What are some challenges you face as a working woman? Share with us the problems faced by working women in India, and let’s spread the word of sisterhood!

Image source: Karolina Grabwaska, via pexels, free on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Ishita Varma

Hello! My name is Ishita Varma and I am in the final year of Political Science honors. I am always up for any feminist discussion and do not believe in only talking about gender equality read more...

17 Posts | 12,416 Views

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