Women are working shoulder to should with men in the corporate sector, bringing unique perspectives and increased awareness about inclusion to the workplace. There is still a long way to go before gender imbalance is fully addressed in all sectors of the country, however, mindsets are changing. Organizations are striving towards eliminating gender disparity, by creating female-friendly policies and an enabling work environment. Companies that have a diverse workplace culture report higher profitability. Countries too report a significant increase in GDP with more women are a part of the national workforce. Organizations across the world are struggling to achieve greater diversity in the workplace.
The Work-life #BalanceforBetter
In Pakistan, women’s participation in the corporate sector has seen a rise with organizations paying closer attention to developing and promoting a diverse work culture. However, to achieve meaningful progress, companies need to seek out the reason behind gender disparity at the workplace.
Even though this doesn’t warrant proof, there are studies linking better HR policies with women’s workforce participation and retention. The one thing that every woman looks for when seeking employment is a safe and enabling working environment. Like men, no woman can contribute significantly to work in a restricting environment that limits her potential. This coupled with good facilities and benefits allows all employees to strike a successful work-life balance.
Saleha Zafar, an Assistant Manager Corporate Law, and Commercial Contracts at Telenor Pakistan shared her experience with us: “Being in the legal department comes with its own pressures and responsibilities; meetings are called on short notice and often you are on your toes running from one department to another for reasons ranging from information gathering to conflict resolution. Being a working woman can be tough, a female lawyer even tougher, and an expectant mother with high-risk complications can surely make you second guess your career choices. “The moment I was told of the high-risk complications, I was on the brink of quitting my job,” shares Saleha. “I knew that Telenor Pakistan offers a flat six-month maternity leave but I was prescribed complete rest before I could avail that. The kind support from my team and management allowed me the flexibility to work from home. It was through a mix of understanding, helpful colleagues and company policy that I stayed connected to work while being in the comfort of my home,” she adds.
Saleha worked from home for six months before she availed her 6-month maternity leave. She gave birth to a healthy child, who now loves to play at the on-site daycare facility at Telenor Pakistan. Thanks to the daycare facility, Saleha is able to better focus on work as she can visit her daughter any time she wants during working hours.
Work-life balance is crucial for females to #BalanceforBetter. The top benefits that matter to working women include a level playing field, equal opportunities to grow and learn, a healthy working environment, flexible hours and pick and drop facility to name a few. A handful of organizations offer such a comprehensive HR policy for women in the country and Telenor Pakistan is proud to be one of them.
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