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Don’t Quit – What can Family & Friends do to Ensure Women Don’t Quit the Workforce?

Updated: Mar 2

In my last 2 Don’t Quit blogs, I wrote about what two crucial stakeholders – women themselves and organisations can do to ensure women are retained in the workforce.

In this blog, I will talk about what the third element of this eco system (Family & Friends) can do to retain & encourage women to continue to in the formal workforce.

  • Change the gender lens – Don’t view women as primary caregivers & men as primary breadwinners. Both have an equal role to play in raising & nurturing the future generations.

  • Change the gender narrative – starting from the adjectives we use for our girls to the toys we buy and the tasks we assign to them. Using adjectives like “bold & strong” for girls instead of “fair & pretty”, encouraging boys to explore their “softer” side and playing an equal role in all domestic tasks will ensure that children are reared in a gender-neutral environment which does not limit them.

  • The 3 E’s – providing girls with access to Education, Employment & Equal opportunity.

  • Equal division of labour – especially child & elder care which should & must be a joint responsibility of both partners

  • Plan and organize childcare in advance and share costs equally

  • If paid childcare is not an option due to financial constraints, parents or in laws can offer to move in till the children go to school

  • Friends can step in to share school/hobby & sports class pick up duty

  • Don’t judge a woman or make her feel guilty for being less than a “perfect” mother. In trying to balance & manage both the work & family responsibilities, women often face burnout or stress issues which causes them to drop out of the workforce.

  • Above all, don’t view a woman’s career as secondary or dispensable. When the family changes their gender perspective, the needle moves for the entire family and becomes a force multiplier for transformational change.

Drawing on the extended family & friends for support does not make us less than perfect mothers. In fact, there is no such thing as a perfect mother. We are all imperfect human beings doing our best and giving our best so that we can realise our aspirations.

Charity begins at home & Equality begins with treating & raising our sons & daughters in the same way. As good human beings who will contribute towards creating a more equal world in the future.

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