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randomethic (Professional)     12 May 2012

Something to consider

I've been here long enough to have seen several queries and opinions regarding why several married women keep claiming maintenance when they are educated enough to hold a job and maintain themselves. 


While I'm not contesting anything here, I am writing this from personal experience and as someone who has struggled to find a job despite being qualified and experienced enough to know the other side of the story.


This is ofcourse not applicable to women who are qualified but don't want to work once married and I know, there are women of that sort as well. Some, just give up the idea of working once they're married and don't want to go back, others, like me, struggle with lables and definitions to try and make ends meet. 


Being employable and qualified to hold a job doesn't guarantee that a woman will get a job. Specific to the Indian context, most companies and employers don't want to give a job to married women who have left work to get married because they don't think such women are 'serious' about their careers. They are labelled as lacking "Passion" and "Drive" to work and succeed. It doesn't matter that a woman might be looking for work to support herself, sustain her life or just survive. To quote the CEO of a company who interviewed me for my most recent employment, "I don't want to hire a bored housewife to work for my company." It didn't matter that I was the right candidate. It mattered more that I hadn't been working, that I was a housewife. At the time of appraisals and performance reviews, no matter how hard I had worked, I was told, "Your performance rating has been affected by your personal problems," this despite me never having mentioned anything at work about my personal life or how it was going, never asking for any undue time off. If it's not this, most interviewers ask and don't employ married female candidates who don't have children because if god-forbid we plan to start a family sometime, they would have to give us time off.


I worked at a job prior to the one I interviewed for in the example above, and the CEO (a divorcee himself), wanted me to stay back in that city (my spouse and I were in different cities, and I would travel to be with him on the weekends), so that he could spend "quality time" with me and when I asked what he meant by that and refused, I was handed a letter stating I wasn't performing up to par and had 2 weeks to my next performance review, leaving me with no option but to quit and become dependent on my then abusive spouse, again.


I have male friends who I don't talk to at all anymore, because the moment they found out that things in my married life weren't going very well, they began making s*xual advances and comments and it was a truly scary prospect to be in.  


These are personal examples, I know, but they make finding work, trying to survive as a single woman incase marriage doesn't work out, a complete nightmare. Anyway, my point is, India's work culture has not reached a place where companies are actually the "Equal Opportunity Employers" they claim to be and for an unemployed married woman who took a break because she got married, even if she's capable of working, it's not as simple as most of us think, to find a decent job.


 66 Replies

Shantanu Wavhal (Worker)     12 May 2012

Let the protection of women at workplace bill pass - and see the situation aggreviating.

Anjuru Chandra Sekhar (Advocate )     12 May 2012

East India company Independence era.:) What bosses and companies have to do with personal lives?  You have some ailing parent (say) and you have to take care of him/her.  You are offered a promotion on transfer from existing place from where you cannot move out parents.  So you say I do not want promotion, I have to look after my parents, you will not be appreciated, it will be remembered by them....we know. 


If you are kept at the employer's home without allowing you to even attend the medical needs of parents, it is bonded labor.  If your corporate finds fault with you for not going on transfer when offered a promotion, because your parents are ill it is not the psyche of a master who keeps bonded labor? 


He would be a polished Master.  He only says, "I did not say you don't go...." unlike a Village Zamindar/Thekedaar, who says, "Tum hamri baat nahi sunegaa to maar padegaa!". 


But you know it somehow hurts them if you go.  They carry the same tendencies that the Village Thekedaars possess inwardly.  Only the way they express their tyranny differs. That psyche that they truly the psyche of those who came to India to enslave Indians.  East India Company culture.  Polished dictators.

Anjuru Chandra Sekhar (Advocate )     12 May 2012

After some years Corporates in order to force employees to devote completely to their businesses, will encourage "live in" relationships (among male and females) in their Staff quarters and discourage the concept of family.  They will say to employees, "shaadi karke kyaa karne kaa yaar".  And consensual s*x among adults is not a crime in India.

Anjuru Chandra Sekhar (Advocate )     12 May 2012

People who don't possess such mindset will be considered regressive.  They will arrange "day end parties" in which they will encourage their employees to choose "Life partner for the day".  By 2050 India will catch up with that culture.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 May 2012

"In Corporate Governance the best work culture can be achieved, only when we introduced the philosophy of owners as the trustees" and not as the tyrant.

Anjuru Chandra Sekhar (Advocate )     12 May 2012

@ NK Assumi.  Trustees of what?  The greed for improving bottomlines is inducing Corporates to encourage all kinds of tendencies which go against Family values of India.  Take the example of woman who quoted the example of a boss who said, ""I don't want to hire a bored housewife to work for my company." or the CEO (a divorcee himself), wanted her to stay back in that city so that he could spend "quality time" with her.  What kind of trust you can repose on such CEOs?


And what a CEO has to do with what kind of personality a woman has?  She looks bored or happy or s* he is bothered with all that as long as she completes her duties properly?  Even parents and husbands do not expect so much in terms of how a human being should think and look like.  What kind of dress-code, what kind of attitude, what kind of personality, what kind of expression, what kind of words please the bosses and clients. It is all a legalized tyranny in Corporates who can spend money to train and retain best talents but at the same time they want to ensure that they remain slaves of organization.  People will not apply their minds to think “what suits me”.  They will simply think, “Whatever that pays me is what that suits me”.  And they will impose that mindset by creating a few more slaves under them who carry similar thought patterns.


You ask them, “Sir, you want me to not go and attend the funeral of my dearest Uncle for the sake of attending that urgent meeting?”, they will say, “Who said that? I didn’t say that to you, I only told you what is in store for you if you don’t go”.  This is all legalized tyranny under the veil of rules and regulations, it does not go just like that.  You will find a day when Corporates will give sops for women who prefer Surrogate mothers instead of applying maternity leave.  Bosses will tell their subordinates (women) “Why do you want to bear all that pain, Company will re-imburse all that expenditure it takes for appointing a Surrogate mother, don’t go for maternity leave”.   Like we have female journalists these days who say, “My parents are also from the family of journalists, so there is no hue and cry when I suddenly get up at 2-00 am midnight and go to Office to attend a breaking news”, for the sake of exhibiting their “pride of professionalism” , you will find women who say, “Being a subordinate to CEO is a 24X7 job, you cannot just afford to go on maternity leave, and when there is facility to appoint surrogate mother and Company pays for it, why bother?”.  After some years they will simply say, “Who has time for all that?”.  No need to give explanation to anyone, it will become another assertion of woman’s right which becomes a part of her style-statement.


Just tell me, what does a house-wife do?  All the jobs that a house-wife can do including giving birth to child can be outsourced for money.  Why a man needs a wife?  Take this.  A woman does household work.  For that he can appoint a servant maid.  A woman can fulfill his s*xual needs.  That can be satisfied by man even outside wedlock.  She raise children.  You have boarding/residential schools for that.  Why a man and woman waste life on Family life?  And what does a Family give to a man or woman that Company does not give?  Now a days, men feel ashamed to be recognized by the name of their parents.  They say, “I shall be recognized by what I do, I should have my own identity, it is an insult if somebody asks me, are you son of so and so”.  Women feel they are doing some bonded labor if they remain mere housewives.  They enjoy the pride of being associated with their Companies, “She belongs to Wipro Tech….she belongs to NDTV….” and so on. 


Take Abraham Maslow theory.  He says, every human being has a hierarchy of needs.  Starting from Basic needs, (food shelter), Security needs, Social needs, Esteem needs and Self realization needs.  Leave aside the final one, no organization wants Yogis and no individual wants to become a Yogi.  Basic needs are fulfilled by what is given by Companies.  Security needs, you get social security if you get good salary and if you save money.  Social needs, Company fulfills that by arranging get together of its employees.  Employees themselves become good friends because most of the time (90 percent of the time) when they are awake they remain in Companies rather than at home. So colleagues and all fulfill social needs.  Esteem needs.  Company gives promotion to employees.  Family does not give promotion.  Tell me what is the contribution of a Family in the modern world?


People will start perceiving Family as a burden and boss as its God.  Jo mujhe oopar le aayaa vohi mere liye khudaa hain. People will say work is worship in future.  Be part of company 24X7.  If you have any biological needs (s*x), emotional needs (need for companionship) to be fulfilled, fulfill them using the social contacts within organization without wasting time, whenever you get time for leisure from your work. The pride that human beings enjoy when saying, “Hey look.  I don’t have time.” (to show how busy he/she is) will drive human beings towards that end in future.



randomethic (Professional)     12 May 2012

All good and very valid points Mr Chandrashekhar. The intent of my post is just to highlight that we take it for granted today that if a woman is educated, finding a job is an easy task, as if jobs are resting on platters to pick up. I just mean to say, that simply being qualified and as in my experience, even having enough previous work-ex to suit job requirements is not enough because all of a sudden, being a married woman who gave up her work for her family makes us "unwanted" employees. 


I would also like to point out that it is not essential that a woman would want to look for employment ONLY because of marriage problems, she could do so under any circumstances: maybe the spouses decide mutually that her income would help them, maybe the husband cannot work anymore, it could be anything but the challenges remain the same.

1 Like

Anjuru Chandra Sekhar (Advocate )     12 May 2012

@Randomethic.  Hope you have not taken offense to anything said about women in my postings.  I am only making a reference to changing ethics and value system which find justification when it pays in terms of pride, promotion, comeuppance, success and money.  Look at reality shows.  Parents and family is only add-on to their image who depend on their bloated image for their own pride and socializing needs.  It is all important boss that human beings started admiring and worshipping, because he brings us up and gives the identity of what we are in this world.  Without much thought we tend to believe that the death of boss's mother is more important event than the death of our Uncle or Aunty.  Because we have been training our minds that way in order to achieve success. 


So the relationship between Employer and Employee did not remain just within the ambit of rules and regulations, it has gone much beyond that.  Employers do not view the employees who think their relationship with them is simply a legal one.  That kind of attitude is regressive trade unionist attitude.  If you want to be in the race, you have to be part of circus.  Forget rules and regulations.  The only rule that you should know is "how to impress boss". 


I was asked many times when I was working for ING Vysya Bank Ltd,  whenever I applied for leave, "why do you want leave"?  I used to feel very odd to answer this question.  You have given me 12 days casual leave, 15 days sick leave, 30 days privilege leave.  In the leave application under the column, Reasons for apply leave, I had written "Domestic work".  Is it not sufficient for you? 


You see they want more than that.  Leave is a matter of right for employee, but it is subject to whims and fancies of the bosses.  If you don't want to give leaves to employees say, "We have only 12 casual leaves", we don't have sick leaves and privilege leaves.  Who prevented you from doing that?  Or be clear in your Discipline and Appeal regulations and Conduct rules that if any employee is not sanctioned leave, his salary will be cut.  OK.  No problem at all for that.  You creates rules, let me know what is the rules of game.  And do whatever you want.  But don't ask me "why do you want leave".  Why should I share my personal life with my boss.  I may want to go to a movie with my wife or I may want to accompany my son to a place that he wanted to see, whatever be the reason.  YOu cannot probe all that. 


But you see they want only that.  They want to give a feeling that "Ours is a one to one personal relationship..." the same time for favor of paying salary, perks giving promotions, they want to dictate what is the extent of sacrifice that we can make for our personal lives, vis-a-vis organizational life.  And they want people to accept them and their approach towards employees, because it "pays" them.  My contention was that, "you are boss to me.  You are not equal.  I will not share my personal life with someone who is not equal to me".  For Officers food was prepared in canteen, and for DGMs and other Executives food used to come from Star hotels.  When these differences are there, how can I share my personal life with them as if I am a friend to them.  They are not equals to me?


So people like you and me do not get jobs. 


I will tell you a joke. 


One fellow who did not believe in the institution of marriage, in the year 2050 used the services of a two women to become a father.  One, the woman that he wanted to be the biological mother (so that DNA of son is perfect), and the other who outsources the job of pregnancy.  Child was taken care of by the woman who bore him in womb till the time he was to be joined in school.  He admitted the child in a residential school, giving a direction to the authorities of school, "He shall become so skilled that he should be able to set up his own business empire and lead a group of companies without my help.".  The school trained him in that fashion.  In 2050 the residential schools will take care of children till they complete their education.  It will be a contract between father of kid and the residential school. They will be paid for that. Father also gave a direction to residential school, do not tell who is helping him in paying for his expenses.  So kid does not know anybody other than the fact that he is being paid. 



Child became able.  He acquired skills.  We know how residential colleges squeeze students to become Engineers, Doctors etc. He went to US, Europe and UK and set up a big business empire by 25 years of age.  He came back to India one fine day.  He had his shops in India as well.  A big contingent of Personal Secretaries followed him to his residence. 


He told after coming, very busy as usual, "let me know who you all are and what is your role in my establishments and what do you do for me".  His PS started introducing one by one.  His dad came. He thought time is ripe for him to introduce himself to the one that he trained with his money. He saw his son after near about 20 years.  He is also a busy man, he has his own business empire to look after in India.


PS introduced people one by one, "He is your Technical Advisor for Mumbai plant, he is your Financial Advisor for Mutual finds company....etc...etc....and he is your Chauffer he earlier worked as Chauffer to American President..."....Son felt proud.  And finally, the PS introduced his dad, saying, "He is your Dad"....


The son casually asked, as if he is another amongst all those who were already introduced, "Dad?!!  What does he do for me?"



Ranee....... (NA)     12 May 2012

it is not essential that a woman would want to look for employment ONLY because of marriage problems, she could do so under any circumstances:


I 100% agree with this point.

Ranee....... (NA)     12 May 2012

overall a nice and healthy thread..Thanks author and also to Chandrasekhar ji..

Vishwa (translator)     12 May 2012

It is a very sad fact that there are many men who would immediately consider an unattached woman to be "available" and would deem her worthy of her attentions. This is true all over the world. But this attitude is beginning to change.

On the other hand, my wife would never let me speak to such a woman because she immediately sees a threat to her position.

Anjuru Chandra Sekhar (Advocate )     12 May 2012

@Ranee.  Well said.  It is not essential for a woman to do a job only because of marriage problems, there can be other reasons too.  Her point is that there are many in this forum who criticize women because they sit lazy without doing job because they can get maintenance from husbands if they do not do a job.  So the allegation is that women do not do job deliberately to enjoy the maintenance given by husbands.  The counter point is, women have many reasons for not doing jobs out of which one is, not being able to get jobs because corporates do not take women who once quit job for the sake of marriage.


Another point is, it is not necessary that a woman do a job, just because she is educated. A woman may be educated but the purpose of education may not be a job.  And the husband had not asked her to do a job after marriage. Even her father didn't ask her to do a job before marriage.  So why suddenly she will do a job remembering "Oh! I am educated so I have to do a job", when there is rift between her and her husband?


My point is employers encroach too much into the personal space of people these days.  Somebody wants leave, why does an employer want to know why employee wants leave?  Because if the employee tells the purpose, he will start encroaching his personal space by discussing the personal problems of employee.  Suppose, employee says, "I want leave because I want to go to a movie with my wife", employer will suggest, "Why not go on Sunday".  Suppose employee says, "I want to attend court proceedings, I have filed RCR petition to get my wife back at home..." employer will say, "Why you people marry I don't understand...don't waste your time with that backward looking girl, just leave her and marry somebody else...".  In the same vein if a woman says, I want maternity leave they will suggest, go for surrogate mother and avoid leave, we will give you promotion, we cannot afford to forego your valuable services for such a long time. 


Why you need all that?  Why do they encroach personal space of people like that?  Employee wants leave.  He applies.  If you want to sanction, sanction it.  Otherwise reject it.  Despite your rejection if he still goes on leave have some suitable punishement that you feem fit.  Go as per internal regulations and law.  Whether a woman is moody during meeting, she is not receiving the clients properly, she is not smiling....what does she should wear to impress the foreign delegates...this is all encroaching the personal space of employees. 


These reaons play on their minds while making decision about choosing employees.  Say in a country, where nobody gets a job without a written test and interview in banks and government.  For people who depend on private sector, if these are the considerations, what happens to people if there is some gap in career for one reason or the other?  Whether there is gap or not is not your problem, at this point of time if you give a job whether the employee will be able to perform the job or not is the problem.  But they do not view it like that.  How does it bother you if a woman leaves her job for the sake of marriage and do not do the job for a while?  That is her personal choice?  What you have to do with what decisions she makes in her personal life?  He will say that kind of woman is likely to leave again. 


What if a woman who has no gap in career joins and leaves the job within six months because of getting a better opportunity?  There are umpteen no. of reasons to say why that attitude is wrong.  But encroaching personal space is a disease that our Corporates suffer from.  They peep into personal lives, all that knowledge they gain by that peeping reflects in the official decisions that they make with regard to those employees whose lives they peep into.  Utterly unethical standards of Corporate governance in our country today. 

randomethic (Professional)     12 May 2012

Not at all annoyed Mr Chandrasekhar, infact, I appreciate your ability to perceive and understand in much greater depth than I have myself put this subject across as. Thanks!

randomethic (Professional)     12 May 2012

@Vishwa: I agree with your wife and under similar circumstances, I would probably behave the same way as her.


What is more disturbing about these so called male "friends" is that I did not go and tell them about my problem but when they asked during a casual conversation, I did not lie about my situation, either.


It was even more embarrassing because I know this person's wife very well and I finally cut contact with both of them and for months after doing so, the husband kept asking me over and over again, if he had said something to upset me, knowing very well, what he had said!


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