On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017, we present to you messages from key participants in the emerging skill development and vocational training ecosystem in India. Lead read on from Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO, LabourNet, Ms. Pallavi Rao Chaturvedi (Director, AISECT & Founder, Brainy Bear Pre-School & Activity Club), Pritha Dutt, Director, Empower Pragati Vocational & Staffing Pvt Ltd, Anita Rajan, CEO, Tata STRIVE, Poonam Saini, Managing Director, TecHum International Pvt. Ltd. and Prof. Rao R. Bhavani UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Amrita University Director, AMMACHI Labs, Amrita University Director, Center for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Amrita University.
Gayathri Vasudevan, CEO, LabourNet
Women empowerment is a nuanced issue, especially in India, where you can find unwritten rules in every segment of the society. There is widespread discrimination and mental block fuelled by concerns related to security, social pressure and the proverbial glass ceiling. The glass ceiling can be related to either personal commitments like family pressure or professional barriers created for women employees at workplace. Often in a family, women are left behind to play the role of caregivers for the aged or to rear children while men set out to strive for better opportunities. Any role reversal is so far unheard of in the present society.
When it comes to better roles at workplace, statistics is completely skewed. You will find far lesser number of women in positions that draw higher wages. This gender-wage correlation is present in almost every profession. In manufacturing sectors like leather, rubber and construction, as wages increase, there is a dip in the number of women workers. In the beauty sector, with the rising number of unisex salons and better wages, you find an influx of male stylists. Similarly, in the fashion sector, societal insecurity prevents women from working late nights at the tailoring units or rise in ranks. There appears to be an open thread pulling women back at every turn.