Why should gender decide your salary?
Updated: Nov 21
13th November 2020
Representation of women in corporate offices (Source- REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)
For centuries, women were considered the caretakers of their families; they were not provided education and were married off early. The only responsibility of a woman was to look after the household, cook food, and take care of her children, while men were the primary income source. Our society is slowly progressing and accepting women in the workforce. Today, women are ambitious and would not let anything come in between their dreams. To understand what women go through in their working environment, AM+ decided to interview two very ambitious and career-oriented women.
Sushmitha- a 23-year-old Mechanical Engineer- working in a multinational corporation as a Design Analysis Engineer, spoke to AM+ in an interview on Thursday. During the interview, she spoke about how her company puts a lot of emphasis on gender equality. "The numbers are not evenly matched because women in mechanical engineering are not very common," said Sushmitha. She further said that her company hires quality recruits not based on gender.
We asked Sushmitha about her views on the discrimination women go through in their working environment, to which she replied, "These kind of things are not very direct; they happen through subtle comments" she further added, "If I was given another opportunity, I was probably given that because I am capable, but if that is perceived as an opportunity to equalise numbers or to bring women into the workforce, it is not the greatest feeling."
Sushmitha revealed that she had received remarks from a few of her colleagues about her being in a group project because she is a girl, and they had to include a female member in their team. She said, "It is like an added responsibility, you have to make sure you are always on your toes, and you do better because you don't want to be left behind and only get pulled up to showcase gender equality."
During the interview, we asked Sushmitha about the issues she faces as a woman in this field, to which she replied that if she has to be in the office a little longer than 6:30 pm, she has to take permission from her manager which is not applied to her male colleagues. She further added that her senior colleagues are not comfortable working with women because their interaction with female workers are not much. She ended by saying, "the problems we face are not technical but is based on mentality."
Chandana HP- a 24-year-old Computer Science Engineer- working in a multinational corporation, spoke to AM+ in an interview on Thursday. During the interview, she talked about how some of her colleagues and manager think that women cannot work as efficiently as men. She further added that the payment received is based on ratings given by managers and it does not differ based on gender.
During the interview, Chandana said, "We should be judged on the basis of work we do and not by our gender." She further added, "The gender discrimination in my company is not much as compared to others."
We asked Chandana about the problems she faces as a woman in this field, to which she replied, "I have not faced any gender discrimination yet- I have been given opportunities, but there are friends who have to go through gender discrimination on a daily basis."
According to an article by Livemint, female labour participation in India has fallen by nearly 30 per cent in the last 20 years. To simplify this, one in three women in India have left the workforce. The survey also revealed that a woman spends two hours less in paid employment as compared to men. When it comes to domestic work, an Indian woman spends an average of 243 minutes a day on household chores, almost ten times more than an average Indian man did in 2019.
During the pandemic and the recession, women were more affected than men. According to a discussion paper by Ashwani Deshpande- four out of ten women lost their jobs due to lockdown, which increased the time women spend on family responsibility.
These numbers are definitely disappointing. It may not be highlighted but ingrained deep down in our society. When it comes to work- gender should not be a deciding factor of one's capabilities, and these two women are perfect examples of that.
(Source- Livemint, Financial Express)
Edited by- Nivedita Dutta