I recently attended CA women conference and I was extremely satisfied with the conference for the topic that was picked up for the discussion.
My dear Lady Chartered Accountants! It was the most common and burning topic- work-life balance for women CAs.
When a girl picks up a career as a CA, she is very ambitious about her life. She wants to achieve many things. Earn respect and prosperity for her parents. Parents are also extremely proud of their smart, intelligent and clever daughter. We all feel that we are now a modern society because we are allowing girls to take up such a career which requires lot of concentration, intelligence and dedication. Parents would provide all the facilities to their daughter for studying so that their beloved gets the success in her chosen career faster. Looking at the success rates of women in this field, it is proved that given a chance, girls can bloom like anything and there is nothing which can stop her.
After becoming CA, she chooses to get married, which is a common decision every adult person would take up. But in a girl’s life, this is the turning point. This is the point of time when her independence gets loosing. She starts getting directed by her husband, in-laws and lots of relatives. Even if she chooses to continue with her career, she has to take dual responsibility of her house as well as job. This happens, if not in all cases, but surely in most of the cases. Very few ladies are lucky enough to get support of her in-laws for boosting her own career. In that case she has to be very grateful to her family for such support. She cannot by her right, claim any option to choose her career first, instead of house-keeping.
After struggling to manage for some years of her married life with her career, a woman decides to get pregnant. This is most crucial turning point in a woman’s life. My all dear readers will agree with me that most of the CA women leave their career at this stage. The reasons are multiple. She being the mother of her child has the prime responsibility of her child. Moreover for CAs, office working hours are not flexible as per their choice. A CA is always seen to be performing a managerial role and key person in the office and has to be available even in odd hours or holidays. In such case, a mother CA would prefer to leave this kind of job and sit at home taking care of her child.
Now having put the problems of a woman CA, we think further. Should we keep on losing such a talent because she has to look after her family first rather than job? We all know that passing a CA exam is the toughest and longest task. After doing hard work of this kind a girl cannot afford to waste her degree without any further use. My dear friends, the seminar of our beloved institute gave lot of answers to this question. Here are mentioned a few of them with some addition of my own:
A CA woman is well understood by her family. With the help of family members- in laws, husband, parents, brothers, and sisters she can continue with her career and her child’s responsibility can be shared by her family members. On the other hand the girl should also consider this love and affection of her family and be with them when they need her. We should be glad to know that there are such Indian families in our society who support girls’ career even after becoming a mother. Other families can take lessons from them.
Another support can be taken from employer. A woman should not be put into dilemma of choosing either her career or family. But she can be offered by her own employer to work in flexible hours, part time or at home if possible. With the use of internet, black berries and computers, this is very much possible. If she cannot be offered such facility with her present employer then she can switch over to another employment for such facility.
One more way to cope with the situation is to sit at home and start own practice. Of course in starting stage of her practice she will get limited clients but later on she can be a full fledge practicing Chartered Accountant. By that time her child also grows up.
Teaching job is considered to be the best job for woman. A CA can teach in the colleges or classes of CA and earn lot of money and respect as a CA. while teaching, she can later on start her practice as a CA and she may get clients immediately because of her relations from the college/classes.
Retainer ship or freelancing is another option for a CA woman. She can approach any company/practicing CA which provides assignments and task on freelance basis, thus keep her knowledge up to date. When her child grows up, she can join as a full fledge employee or continue with her freelance job.
Some companies like TCS organizes a special project for women who had break in their career from 2 years to 7 years. If any woman meets these criteria can take up the project and get employed by the company on successful completion of the project.
After giving all the alternate ideas, I would still prefer that a CA woman gets full fledge opportunity to work as a full fledge employee and not as a part time employee. She deserves the same rights as a CA man, isn’t it?
Give your feedback and if you have any other idea or option please share here to save a girl CA talent from being underutilized.