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Poll: The adventures of an Indian woman at work

Last updated on: March 07, 2014 20:44 IST

Poll: The adventures of an Indian woman at work

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What does it feel to be a woman in corporate India? A new survey reveals shocking insights about work life culture and the general attitude towards women. Read on to find out more...

If a recent survey of Indian working professionals is anything to go by, more than 60 per cent employers find it risky to employ women who are considering marriage fearing they'd quit.

Adding on to the gender bias, an increasing number of women employees (54 per cent in Delhi, 58 per cent in Mumbai and 45 per cent in Bangalore) who participated in the survey felt they 'have to drink or smoke to be a part of the inner circle at the workplace'.

The first of its kind nation-wide survey was conducted by Ormax Media and a team of researchers led by Apurva Purohit, Radio City CEO and author of Lady You're Not a Man – The Adventures of a Woman at Work.

As part of the survey, nearly 1,000 men and women professionals between the age 25 and 34 were asked to share their experiences and challenges of working in a corporate organisation.

The research was undertaken in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

Sixty eight per cent of the respondents who participated in the survey belonged to the junior and mid-management levels.

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Please click next to find out the results of the survey and let us know what you think...


Photographs: Reuters

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Does drinking make you more affable?

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Question: Would you drink/smoke with your colleagues to be part of the inner circle?

According to the survey, 54 per cent of women in Delhi, 58 per cent in Mumbai and 45 per cent in Bangalore believe that they have to drink or smoke to be a part of the inner circle at the workplace.

Around 61 per cent of male professionals who supported the view are of the opinion that things are more casual and fun while they unwind over a drink or during the smoke break.

Your Say:


Image: An increasing number of professionals feel drinking or smoking with colleagues helps them connect better.
Photographs: Daniele La Monaca/Reuters

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The glass ceiling: Myth or fact?

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Do you think a glass ceiling exists in the corporate sector?

According the survey, 67 per cent of women in the education sector; 71 per cent in the health sector; 60 per cent in media and entertainment and around 63 per cent in the manufacturing sector firmly believe that a 'glass ceiling' does exist for women in the corporate sector and there is still a long way to go!

Your Say:


Image: When it comes to gender equality at work, India is way behind.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
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Sexual harassment: Tolerance or fight back?

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Would you report a sexual harassment incident at work?

Forty per cent of women in Mumbai and 40 per cent in Bangalore said they would not report any incident at work because they believe nothing will really come out of the same.

Fifty three per cent women in Delhi, 44 per cent in Hyderabad and 57 per cent women in Pune believe that they might be the subject of office gossip if they report any sort of 'sexual harassment' at work.

Your Say:


Image: Most women refrain from reporting a case of harassment fearing ridicule from colleagues.
Photographs: Rediff Archives

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Men vs Women: Who's a better boss?

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Would you rather have a male boss or a female boss?

About 51 per cent of women in Delhi feel comfortable working with a male boss as rather than a female boss.

Around 37 per cent women who were part of the survey said they are comfortable working with a male boss.

Your Say:


Image: Interestingly, a majority of both men and women find it comfortable to work with a male manager.
Photographs: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Tags: Delhi

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Job scenario post marriage: Will you work or quit?

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Do recruiters think it is risky to hire a single woman because she'll quit the job after marriage?

According to the survey, one of the most common things that a women employee is questioned in her job interview is about her 'Job scenario post-wedding'.

Women feel recruiters especially in the fields of education (70 per cent), automobile (71 per cent) and media and entertainment (60 per cent) feel that hiring a woman employee is risky as they might leave the job post marriage.

Your Say:


Image: Recruiters often quiz women professionals about their career plans post marriage.
Photographs: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
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Career decisions: Who's in control?

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Would you allow someone else to influence your life and career?

Around 35 per cent of women in Bangalore, 42 per cent in Chennai and 39 per cent in Mumbai feel that most times women 'willingly' allow somebody else to take control over their life and career.

Your Say:


Image: Women are likely to be influenced by someone else while taking crucial career decisions.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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Homemaker vs working mother: Dealing with guilt

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Do kids of working mothers suffer as compared to those of homemakers?

Talking about one of the most sensitive topics of 'dealing with guilt', around 73 per cent of the working women in the metro cities falling between the age group of 25 to 34 feel that spending quality time with their children takes a precedence over quantity.

Your Say:


Image: Working women who spent quality time with their children felt less guilty.
Photographs: Beawiharta/Reuters
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Do successful women compromise for a promotion?

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Do men believe that successful women 'sleep their way to a promotion'?

Also, 45 per cent of women in Delhi think that men believe that successful women often 'sleep their way to promotion'

Your Say:


Image: A scene from the film Inkaar which deals with challenges a woman faces in the corporate sector.
Photographs: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
Tags: Delhi

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Men vs Women: Who's more productive?

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Do you think men are better connected to the workplace than women and hence more productive?

Talking about the EQ (Emotional Intelligence) at work, 55 per cent women felt that they are more connected to their work and their workplace as compared to men and hence prove to be more productive.

On the other hand 80 per cent men felt otherwise and did not agree that women are more attached to their work and workplace.

Your Say:


Image: A majority of men felt they are better connected to the workplace as compared to women.
Photographs: Sivaram V/Reuters

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Are women taken for granted?

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As a working woman what irritates you the most at your work place?

The survey revealed that women are also most offended by 'men not taking them seriously because they are women'!

Forty eight per cent of respondents felt that it was most offensive.

Staring at cleavage, sexist remarks by men and men gossiping about them, all put together offended 38 per cent of the respondents.

Your Say:


Image: Women found the fact offensive that men don't take them seriously.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
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Skills vs Looks: What would you favour?

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A big client project is taking off. Two female subordinates are vying for it.

Who is the male boss likely to favour?

The 'Sexy Siren' who is mediocre at her work or the 'Plain Jane' with outstanding skill sets?

Eighty per cent respondents felt that a good worker will be chosen over a good looker for a very important presentation!

Your Say:


Image: An increasing number of professionals felt that good looks cannot make up for lack of talent.
Photographs: Patrick Fallon/Reuters
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Daycare facilities at work

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Do you think organisations should arrange childcare facilities at the workplace?

Eighty nine per cent of the total respondents felt that in this age of nuclear families, it would be immensely considerate of organisations if they could arrange for some kind of childcare facilities at their work place.

Your Say:


Image: Organisations like Hindustan Lever and HSBC offer creche facilities for its employees.
Photographs: Courtesy Chandni Mehta/Rediff Archives
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