Organizational Strategies to Combat Stress of Returning Mothers in India – A Critical Analysis

Monica Agarwal, Santhi Narayanan, Nimmi Agarwal

Abstract


Organizations in India are metamorphosing themselves into an equal opportunity employer as the country experiences

a greater influx of female talent into core functions of businesses. A great part of this female talent consists of educated women who want to return back to work after taking a break for motherhood. There is a mixed response among organizations to give opportunities to returning mothers to join the workforce. Stress at workplace is a major issue that is being addressed by the organizations. Organization stress is a threat to psychological & physical well being of its employees and consequently, affects the health of organizations. Organizations are adopting various strategies to reduce this stress. However, similar stress combating strategies are sometimes not appropriate for the entire diversified workforce. The returning mothers suffer higher levels of stress as they play a dual role of a career woman and a mother. Cultural & organizational factors influence carrier perceptions & experiences of working women who try to join the workforce. The element of culture is important because individual beliefs & perceptions are believed to be shaped by culture & familial factors. Societal expectations explain gender discrimination against women in workplace. An alarmed business leadership in India was staring at the dwindling pipeline of woman talent in the company – up to 30% of women on maternity leave were not returning to work. Lack of support system at the workplace & at home triggered the exodus. Hence, strategies have to be suitably designed according to their needs. This paper seeks to examine the kinds of organizational strategies specifically relating to combating stress that caters to returning mothers, the extent of support provided by these strategies and their effectiveness.

Keywords

: Organization Stress, Returning Mothers, Strategies, Culture

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