Life for women has always been a bit of a battle between conforming to society’s rules and disrupting barriers to break through. But women have time and again come out stronger, better equipped, and more determined to accomplish their dreams. The 21st century gave us many role models to look up to. From Nobel Prize winners like Malala Yousafzai to leaders of conglomerates like Indra Nooyi, women today are conquering the world regardless of their age, nationality, or ethnicity. But the one question that always comes back to haunt most successful women is how do they maintain a balance between work and home.
There are many obstacles in the way of women. Some of these stem from societal conditioning and others due to lack of a general support system. Here are some of these obstacles and ways in which women can overcome them to ensure a healthy balance between their work and family.
The lack of financial role models
For many Indian women today, they are the first generation of women in their family to have a career. While this sounds like a step towards women empowerment, it also points towards the fact that most of these women lack a financial role model that they can look up to or learn from. If we look at older generations of Indian women, we will find a majority of them still stick to traditional ways of saving money in a jar and keeping it at a safe place in the house. This eliminates the possibility of earning accumulated interest and makes for an unsecure means of savings.
Even though women have come a long way since these traditional practices and working women today are actively investing in employer-provided or government sponsored retirement schemes, there are still large discrepancies in the number of women who invest in more aggressive forms of investments such as in the stock market.
The guilt factor
Women, especially mothers, are always made to feel guilty about their choices. Sometimes the demons that women fight are not in the society but instead in their own heads. Leaving your family or child unattended for a few hours a day to find happiness in other aspects of their life, are tough decisions that women face on a day to day basis. The guilt of being different, putting your dreams ahead of your loved ones, or earning more than your spouse can often create a problem for women, leading them to sometimes quit work and then later regretting and detesting their domestic lives.
Despite equal qualifications and work duties, the issue of pay parity is still rampant across industries. This can lead to frustration and make women lose interest in their jobs. A low earning capacity also affects the way their family members see or respect women vis-à-vis the male members in a house.
In spite of these hurdles, women today are determined more than ever to break stereotypes and make their mark. If you feel these struggles tower over your ambitions as well, here are some things you should always remember and follow:
- Do not compromise on your individual dreams
Keeping your parents, spouse, and children aside, you must pay attention to your individual dreams. This can be in the form of solo travel, investing in gold, or buying your own house. Building up your individual corpus aside from your spouse and family is a vital step towards women empowerment.
- Get yourself a life insurance
Life insurance is as important for women as it is for men. Not only does it ensure that your loved ones are secure in your absence, but also gives you a sense of financial empowerment and stability. Life insurance policies like annuity plans can also be used as a pension tool to secure your future.
- Invest more
Timely investments whether in a variety of savings instruments are a great way to increase your income corpus. If you lack a financial role model in your family, you should reach out to professional financial advisors and find out the best kind of investment strategies for yourself.
- Leave the guilt aside
Women must try to look at the positive aspect of things. As an earning member of the family, women can contribute to financial decisions, ensure a better life for their children, and help out their spouses by sharing the burden of expenses.
- Use technology to your advantage
Thanks to video calls, emails, and text messages you can be connected to your home from anywhere in the world. Not only can you make your child and spouse a part of your day by spending time over video calls during lunch breaks, but you can also efficiently balance your work, home, and finances from a single screen. Try to take the occasional work from home to spend time with your family. You can also easily manage your daily chores via online shopping and payments.
Above all, technology brings in a great deal of financial freedom. You can use several apps to manage your monthly savings, contributions, and withdrawals.
- Ask for what you deserve
Women should not let pay parity, societal conditioning, or patriarchal factors affect them in their place of work. Salary negotiations are a part of your working life. You must not shy away from asking more or be afraid to demand what you truly deserve. At the same time, women should never be conscious of earning more than their male counterparts.
Women must be able to enjoy the process of their work, excel in their careers, and follow their interests without being made to feel guilty. Striking a balance between work and home is as important for men as it is for women. Open and honest discussions on the topic between all the members of the family can help women deal with unnecessary pressures and realize their true potential.
- Do not compromise on your individual dreams