Mahua Bisht

6 challenges faced by working women | Mahua Bisht | CEO | 1to1help

Mahua BishtWorking women face several significant barriers that impact their professional and personal lives. These challenges underscore the need for systemic changes and supportive policies to foster an inclusive and equitable working environment.

1. Work-Life Imbalance
Many working women grapple with achieving a balance between their professional responsibilities and personal life. This struggle has been exacerbated by the shift towards remote working, where the lines between work and home life blur. Women often bear a disproportionate burden of household duties and caregiving responsibilities, making it challenging to devote attention and energy to their careers. This imbalance can lead to stress, burnout, and reduced job satisfaction.

2. Lack of Childcare Support
The high cost and limited availability of quality childcare are significant barriers for working mothers. Without reliable childcare, women may be forced to reduce their work hours, take extended leave, or even exit the workforce altogether. The absence of employer-supported childcare options or flexible working arrangements further exacerbates this challenge, limiting women’s career progression and contributing to the gender gap in leadership roles.

3. Career Interruptions for Family Care
Women are more likely than men to take career breaks to care for others in their family, be it children or elderly family members. These interruptions can have long-term effects on their career trajectory, including slower advancement, reduced earnings over time, and decreased opportunities for leadership roles. The lack of policies that support family leave for both parents perpetuates the expectation that women should be the primary caregivers, disadvantaging them professionally.

4. The “Second Shift”
The concept of the “second shift” refers to the phenomenon where working women, after completing their paid workday, return home to a second round of unpaid labor, including household chores, monitoring homework, caregiving and other domestic tasks etc. This double burden can lead to exhaustion and stress, as women juggle the demands of their professional and personal lives without adequate support or recognition.

5. Limited Access to Mentorship and Networking Opportunities
Women often face challenges in accessing mentorship and professional networks that are crucial for career development and advancement. Networking opportunities and mentorship programs are frequently tailored towards the interests and schedules of men, making it difficult for women, especially those balancing work and family commitments, to participate. The lack of female representation in senior positions also means fewer role models and mentors for aspiring women leaders.

6. Stereotyping and Role Expectations
Despite progress in challenging traditional gender roles, stereotypes persist, affecting how women’s abilities and contributions are perceived in the workplace. Women may be pigeonholed into certain roles or industries based on these stereotypes, limiting their opportunities for diverse experiences and career advancement. Additionally, societal expectations often pressure women to prioritize family over career, influencing their decisions and ability to pursue opportunities for growth.