Women in India are expected to balance work and homes like they have extra hours in the day. While most of you have accepted this and even mastered your multifaceted roles in life, you may be doing so at short sell. Don't believe it? Well, the Gender Gap Index 2020 by the World Economic forum surely shows otherwise.
According to the study, India ranks 117 on the list of the countries when it comes to workforce statistics by gender or wage equality and 149th in terms of economic participation and opportunity. These startling figures are further fuelled by the fact that women hardly know of these dissimilarities and are not able to take action. However, it may be time to change that.
While equal pay may slowly come to reality, there are other things women should negotiate. Here are the top six perks in addition to your CTCs companies offer and why it is essential to bring them to the table:
Health and Wellness Benefits
While organisations, regardless of gender, usually account for health and wellness benefits, women fail to even consider them. It’s barely a part of the discussion. Be fierce with your demands here! Ask for gym reimbursements, a standing desk, a menstrual leave, and even health check-ups that cater specially to women. Keep in mind health and wellness demands such as added maternity benefits or menstrual reliefs while negotiating. This way, you can get the ball rolling and also bring in much-needed relief to other women in the workforce.
Professional Development Opportunities
While salary negotiations usually circle around cash, learning opportunities often take a backseat. Women have denied equal learning opportunities for generations now. Some of this also translates into work, especially for women entering the workforce newly. Demand perks such as certifications, management courses at subsidised rates, training, and corporate coaching memberships. While men could benefit from this, women may need it more, to curb the societal voices that often dissuade them from learning and excelling at your job.
A Better Designation
Don’t be surprised if you are expected to work a senior role with the designation of a junior. They might even pay you like they would pay a senior, but you need to demand the position and title. Negotiate for a better position and do not settle for a subsidiary role merely because the pay justifies it. After all, working is not just about the money!
Flexible Work Schedule
You are not only an employee – you are a mother who needs to tend to her kids, a wife who needs to ensure the house is running well, a caregiver to many. More women in the workforce are thereby demanding flexible schedules wherever possible and rightly so. Ask for remote working or flexible working arrangements. They mean little or no harm to the employer and can instead help you save time and, in turn, lead to more productivity at work.
Stock Options and Additional Financial Perks
Women shy away from demanding an equal and justifiable pay at work, let alone ask for other financial benefits. This needs to stop. With well-rounded exposure, you’re now aware of the several monetary benefits you can receive at the workplace. So why not ask for them? Push for meal and commute reimbursements, childcare costs, and even stock options at the management level. Negotiating for additional perks can lead to you being taken more seriously during interviews instead of merely caving in to all the demands of the employer.
It doesn’t come to you naturally to ask for anything, lesser even when it comes to taking time off. But only you can change your narrative. You aren’t supposed to be working round the clock to live up to the societal image of the ideal Naari. It is okay for you to spend time at leisure to recuperate your mental health or simply cater to other life pursuits. Negotiate for optimal vacation or holiday leaves and remember not to hesitate when asking for time off!
While negotiations at the workplace can be tricky, you can handle them with tact and healthy persuasion. A well-rounded work package entails more than just the pay and it is essential that we claim it. Women can benefit from better mental health and a stronger sense of self-worth with perks such as flexible working, a better title, and vacation time. And that alone is worth striving for, isn’t it?
(Edited by Neha Baid)