International Women’s Day 2018: Top 5 challenges that working Indian women face across the globe

On International Women’s Day, let’s take a step back and see what the top 5 challenges are that working Indian women face:

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Social norms have led us to believe that the definition of “ALL” encompasses a successful career, family and social life.

We teach our daughters from a young age that “the world is your oyster.” They then grow up thinking that it is truly possible to do this, as their parents have told them that this mentality is realistic and truly achievable. But is it? We need to take a closer look. On International Women’s Day, let’s take a step back and see what the top 5 challenges are that working Indian women face:

Quest for the best course- Nowadays, women are hungry with desire to get accepted into a tertiary course that best suits their potential.

Quest for the best job opportunity- We, as parents, constantly motivate them to settle for nothing less than the best graduate job that they can put their hands on.

Quest for the best career progress- Given their demonstrated ambition, women now focus on furthering their careers in the most suitable manner. Most often, this process includes long hours at work, working tight deadlines and attempting to keep up with the opposite gender so that the pay differentiation is never given an opportunity to kick in.

Quest to have a family- Once their careers are more established, women begin to think of marriage and settling down. With these thoughts the next cherished dream of a young woman often follows: how to become a “Mother”.

Quest to juggle it all- Later down the track, the real struggle begins in a woman’s life: the constant process of juggling. Whether it be clients and boss at work, your partner, children and relatives at home, or your numerous social networks, the never ending “pleasing others” life cycle is one that all women face.

So, can a woman “have it all”?

Social norms have led us to believe that the definition of “ALL” encompasses a successful career, family and social life. What people fail to mention is that striking the right balance between these various aspects of life takes a lot of time, experience and effort. This is where I believe parents have a huge role to play. As their role models, it is our responsibility to set a realistic tone in terms of expectations, regarding the values and goals that our girls will grow to create and achieve.

Throughout the process of raising two girls, I have come to realise that instead of encouraging our daughters to “have it all”, we should teach them to achieve happiness by learning how to “create, nurture and transform” what’s around them, wherever they are located.

With over 20 years of experience in the legal profession and leading a multicultural team, Mittu Gopalan is the Principal and owner of Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors, a legal firm in Sydney CBD. She and her firm have been finalists in prestigious awards such as India Australia Business & Community Awards as Business Woman of the Year in 2016.

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