Women’s have the power to wield, and they also have the power to shield. The 90s saw a generation of girls being raised to stand on their own feet. However, as they got married and family demands grew, even those who belonged to and were married into progressive families, had to think twice.
Currently, as per the 2011 census, we have over 2.6 Cr. graduate women living in cities, only about 48 lakh work. We are hoping the figures have improved, but a survey our team had conducted on Mother’s Day last year, proved no different.
Of the respondents, a mere 42% were working, and apparently, 29% of our respondents had given up work post having their first child. This is a sizable segment that hadn’t been saddled at home due to patriarchy but had to quit jobs due to the guilt of leaving the child home or at a daycare, or due to the lack of a suitable support system to fall back on. 50% of those who were on a sabbatical, was finding it difficult to get back to jobs. When asked what they were looking for in a job, 43% responded with ‘Flexibility” as a key factor.
This factor is what pushes women into content writing and teaching. Motherhood is the single biggest cause that leads to a career shift from Financial analysis, Data Science, Pharma, Medical, Engineering, and other professions, into those that are dominated by women, like Education and Writing.
That said, this shift should be tapped into, from a policy perspective, as the Education sector is definitely wanting, with a dismal 80:1 teacher student ratio (according to an article published by Shireen Vakil from Tata Trust, in Hindustan Times, in 2016). The same report cited that, of these teachers, not even 1% clear the Teacher’s Eligibility Test. Clearly, we are wanting when it comes to the quantity and quality of teachers.
Getting well qualified professionals to switch to teaching, should be welcomed by the government. Infact startups training mothers on a sabbatical, to become teachers or work in ed tech startups, should be encouraged with the help of grants and exemptions, and also regulated and monitored for quality purposes.
Personally, I have received great outcomes engaging with mothers. I have found they are disciplined and tend to use the time they take out for work, more efficiently, and professionally. So far, I have only had to administer minimal training, before they have started delivering results.
The writer is Ritika Amit Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder, The Young Chronicle (Views Are Personal)