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Challenges women face in the workplace

Pakistan has been ranked the second-worst country in the world for gender inequality for the second consecutive year. According to the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016, Pakistan ranks 143 out of 144 countries in the gender inequality index

Pakistan has a strong representation in terms of women’s political representation in South Asia, with close to a fifth of parliamentary seats held by women. Women comprise over half of Pakistan’s population, yet only 22.7 percent are part of the labour force.

The women in the corporate world are smart, technically competent and emotionally courageous. As such they are rightly called as the new age corporate women.

In the past decade, women have adopted jobs and professions which were previously exclusively men’s domain, and even though women have come a long way, they continue to encounter predominant challenges when it comes to the workplace.

According to researchers, occupational segregation due to gender and a few other factors play a significant role in equity at work:

Appropriate Work Arrangements

Most organisations have maternity policies in place but the problem arises when the employee resumes work post her maternity break. To bridge this gap and ease the challenge, corporate firms can include flexibility policies for women who return to work and provide day care conveniences for working moms to create better opportunities for women.

Role Models

We learn by following the footsteps of others. In this male dominated society, there is a lack of senior or visibly successful female role models whom women in the workplace can emulate.

To countermand this, make a calculated effort to appoint highly qualified women to the corporate board and C-suite positions.

Non-Inclusive Workplaces

When women (or any employee) feel like outsiders in the workplace because of their unique qualities or differences (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, age, religion), they feel excluded. Organisations should work on creating an inclusive culture that fully engages and supports all employees.

Finally, policies can’t change the scenario or diminish the issues that female employees face at the workplace, the mindset of people requires to be altered.

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