Women at the workplace - the journey of three generations of women
Parikh, Indira J.
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Women at the Workplace- The Journey of Three Generations of Women', is based on interviews conducted by the authors of a broad cross-section of women in leadership positions, middle management levels as well as women beginning their careers and those making a second start after some years of motherhood. Face to face interviews, each lasting several hours, with 32 women was the main source of information. In only 2 of these 32 cases, a questionnaire was employed. A broad framework was provided to the participants and used as a template for brainstorming. The person's early background, role models, dreams and aspirations, career achievements and the interplay between personal and professional lives was explored. The participants were asked to introspect and explore what success meant to them. A road map for the future for women in organizations was examined. The survey provided a fascinating insight into the minds and hearts of working women. Different women had different motives for working, different dreams and aspirations, different perceptions of the future, different support systems and different hurdles, however, there was also a deep rooted commonality. Looking beneath the surface many common themes and trends emerged for women with different backgrounds, different personality types and varied levels of education, seniority and experience. The human spirit wanted to achieve, to explore and to succeed - only the manifestation of this spirit was different in different cases. An equally strong parallel theme related to fulfillment beyond the realm of professional achievement was prevalent. An underlying need to fulfill maternal and societal roles was observed. The major challenge was to balance these seemingly contradictory aspirations and to achieve happiness. Paths traversed by these 32 women were different, each path equally valid for each person. However, these paths had many crossroads where each individual meets others and then continues on their own path. Till the next crossroad.
- Working Papers