"Why aren't more of India's women working?" Aruna Ranganathan, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, asked at the beginning of her Clayman Institute Faculty Research Fellows presentation.
During her presentation, Ranganathan shared findings from a recent two-year field study she had conducted at a garment factory in India. In seeking a way for organizations to help improve female labor force participation in India, which had been declining despite the country's economic growth, she identified a key challenge faced by female workers: the conflicting demands placed by work and motherhood. "A significant proportion of women workers in the garment sector are mothers," Ranganathan explained, "these women struggle to balance the competing demands coming from their work lives as well as their family demands to take care of their children." She then argued that an organizational program such as employer-sponsored childcare - the focus of her research project - could not only imrpove the participation of women at work, but also function as an "equalizer" that reduces societal gender inequalities faced by women.
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