A few weeks ago, Zerodha Founder and CEO, Nithin Kamath tweeted about female participation in the workforce.
His tweet / post read as follows:
Empowering women to join the workforce is an obvious way to increase our economic growth. Our female labor force participation rate is among the lowest in the world.
One thing I couldn’t make sense of is why our female labor force participation (FLFP), which was in the ~30% range in the 90s, fell to 20% and rose to 24%.Nithin Kamath
The tweet garnered some good engagement numbers on his page, one of his highest really [160 Reposts, 106 Comments, 1121 Likes and 125 Saves, at the time of writing this article].
Him speaking of the drastic fall in female labour force participation rate from 30% to 20% post the 90s, saw some mixed comments – some commented with instances of the challenges women encounter after a career break and some others expressed their support for working women, in general. Interestingly enough, some naysayers blamed women for wanting to do it all while excelling at nothing and thus being responsible for the decline.
Now this gives rise to a new debate altogether, doesn’t it? Or let’s just say, old wine in a new bottle.
A lot is taken into account when discussing the aforementioned topic. Women’s lives, including their education, skill development, entrepreneurship facilitation, safety at the workplace are a few of the many factors determining not just their participation percentage but also their willingness to continue being a part of the spectrum.
Shivani Berry, Founder @ Arise Leadership very rightly put it in one of her recent posts,
Teach women to combat interruption, but also teach men to stop talking over others.
Teach women to advocate for themselves, but also teach men to shun their unrealistic standards for women.
Teach women to be more assertive, but also teach men to stop labeling women “rude” for expressing their ideas.
Teach women how to balance career and work, but also teach men to be more involved at home.
We cannot achieve gender parity by focusing only on one side. Both go hand-in-hand.Shivani Berry
Women’s careers are heavily affected by factors such as marriage, motherhood and mobility unlike men. Organisations need to be more accepting by providing flexibility wherever possible.
There are still many companies that do not have creche facilities for new mothers, and are in violation of Labour Laws.
But, all said, change is happening. It will take time, as they say but there’s a gradual shift we can all agree is in motion.
In fact, according to The Periodic Labour Force Survey Report 2022-23, released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on October 9, we already have made some remarkable progress. It shows an increase of 4.2 percentage points, pushing the Female Labour Force Participation Rate (FLFPR) to 37.0 per cent in 2023.
‘This substantial increase in the FLFPR signifies a considerable stride towards women’s empowerment and their active involvement in India’s socio-economic and political development,’ the report further added.
Is this a win, something we can cherish? Hell, yes! It is small strides that count in the journey, after all.
(About the Author: Dea Srivastava is Community Manager, Tap in Tribe)
Views expressed are personal