Why Women In Corporate Jobs Are Taking A Different Path?
The percentage of women in the workforce has been steadily rising, especially those in leadership positions.
The biological clock starts ticking for women in their early thirties. Although it may sound regressive, it’s what science shows. The thirties are also the time when most women are at the peak of their careers and start feeling the societal pressure of ‘when are you having children’? The choice to have children or not on one side, 'how' is another question that has popped in recent times.
Thanks to advanced technology and broader mindsets, an increasing number of women are considering other options apart from natural conception and birth. Methods such as In-vitro-fertilization (IVF), adoption and surrogacy are some that are viable for both those who choose not to have children through natural birth and women who are unable to do so due to their physiology but still would want to experience the joys of motherhood. Surrogacy is one option that is widely considered. As of 2019, the success rate of surrogacy in IVF clinics in the US is 75% and 65% abroad.
The Indian context
India, too, has been warming up to the concept of surrogacy over the years, with the government stepping in to pass laws to ensure that surrogate women are not exploited. In February 2020, the Union Cabinet approved the recommendations made by a 23-member Rajya Sabha Select Committee on the Surrogacy Regulation Bill 2020. The Bill states that widows and divorcees will also be able to opt for surrogacy. Moreover, since the bill calls for monetary support for surrogate mothers, it lessens the moral burden on the adoptive mothers to bestow upon them something in return for the gift of life.
The percentage of surrogacy in India has risen in recent times due to factors such as health conditions, age and last but not least, the willingness of women who want to focus more on their professional life. Why are they opting for it? Should they go ahead with it? There are a number of questions surrounding this subject and the answers to most of them are widely based on personal choices.
India has witnessed a sea change when it comes to women in the country’s workforce and leadership roles. The percentage of women in the workforce has been steadily rising, especially those in leadership positions. Grant Thornton’s 2019 report titled Women in Business showed that 2019 had the highest percentage of women in senior management roles (29%), which was a significant increase as compared to 2018’s 24%.
Despite this considerable improvement, climbing the corporate ladder still seems more of a challenge for women as compared to men. 65% of Indian women felt that they needed to work harder than their male counterparts to achieve professional recognition. This becomes more of a challenge if she chooses to start a family. Many companies do offer support for pregnant women and working mothers but there is still some discrimination surrounding this. Pregnant women may find it more difficult to get the promotion that they might have been working for, and the general notion that they would prioritize their family and let their careers take a backseat.
Taking a different avenue
Until recently, surrogacy was not an option for many women. This was due to the stigma surrounding the concept. The societal pressure on women to become a mother was another contributing factor that made it nothing short of a taboo in India. However, recent developments have brought in a shift in how surrogacy is perceived. The government, as well as private
organizations, have taken concerted efforts to ensure that the concept is no longer restricted to certain segments of the society. As a result, more women are choosing this path over natural birth, especially those in corporate jobs and leadership roles.
Going against the norm: The role of EQ
One of the crucial qualities that define a good leader is an emotional intelligence, regardless of gender. A common misconception in organizations is that women are too emotional. However, the millions of surveys and studies conducted across the world have shown that women and men can be equals in terms of emotional intelligence.
For women opting for surrogacy, their emotional intelligence is key to balancing their lives both inside and out of the workplace. She might face a lot of questions about her choices, because, despite people slowly accepting the concept of surrogacy, there are still societal taboos surrounding it. To overcome such hurdles, and have a work-life balance, women can choose to enroll themselves in leadership coaching which may act as guidance.
As such, it all comes down to the woman's choice. She can choose to be happy and have sound mental health. If becoming a parent later in life is what it takes to achieve good mental health, then so be it. Greater EQ can help such women deal with societal pressures and do what makes her happy.
Women who choose surrogacy are fulfilling their purpose using a path that was not commonly taken. This shows the utmost courage and these women must be celebrated for their unrelenting strength. Go, mom!
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house