Do women really need to let go of their careers due to motherhood?
Meet Priyanka, an ambitious 32-year-old who started her first job as an intern at a publishing office in her early 20s. With years of hard work, diligence and commitment she rapidly rose up the corporate leader and became a senior editor at a popular fashion magazine.
Four years back, she delivered her first baby, and she took on a voluntary hiatus from work until her baby turned one. She wanted to return to work, once her baby was in day-care. But, till today, that remains a distant dream.
Even though her toddler now attends playschool, Priyanka is still not able to return to work full-time. Her daughter goes to playgroup only for a few hours during the day. Due to the lack of kid-friendly facilities in her residential complex, Priyanka has to stay at home to take care of her for the rest of the day. She has compromised her high-flying career and now does freelance jobs from home.
She takes her daughter to art as well as ballet classes that take place a few miles away. Stepping out of the home during work hours and commuting to different classes exhausts her and waiting for her daughter at each class, eats into her freelance work hours.
Does the story sound familiar? Though the Indian economy is booming like never before, millions of highly qualified and experienced women like Priyanka are dropping out of the workforce. According to studies by the National Sample Survey Organisation and Census*, the female workforce in India dropped down from 42% in 1993-94 to 32% in 2011-12. Around 20 million women quit their jobs from 2004 to 2012.
Qualified Childcare and Kid-Centric Facilities – The Need of the Hour
On the one hand, we have Indian women breaking the glass ceiling and foraying into all industries. On the other hand, more and more women are quitting the workplace due to lack of access to proper childcare facilities where the child is mindfully engaged while the mother is at work.
With the steady decline in the traditional joint family setup and the rise in nuclear families, it’s a huge challenge for both parents to work, while taking care of the kids. Increasing commute times, lack of safety in residential complexes, no proper schools, and activity centres nearby – mean that anyone parent (usually the mother) has to compromise her career and either take a break or take up other jobs that allow her to work while looking after the children.
Are we as a nation ok losing out on 50% of our workforce? Even in progressive societies, where the husbands step-in to help the wife, it’s difficult and stressful for both parents to have a fulfilling career.
This is why kid-centric homes are the need of the hour. With ample facilities for kids to engage their time usefully after school, 24 x 7 security, dedicated after-school activity supervisors, living in a kid-centric residential complex can help women pursue their careers without any compromises.
Such homes provide young mothers with the right support to balance their careers and family.
Ashiana Housing build homes. Homes surrounded by vast green spaces and fresh breeze. Homes cocooned in secured gated complexes. Homes where futures are forged and there are opportunities to grow. And Homes in environments brimming with healthy activity, trust and respect. At heart, we build communities with care.