Stop penalising non-linear career paths

By Maryam Bibi

November 17, 2020


Women’s career paths are evidently different to those men cut in life.

The traditional career path is linear and shaped by men who seek to achieve dominance and power in society. In contrast, women follow non-linear career paths, because their achievement is comprehensively linked with self-contentment, which can only be cultivated by creating balance and fulfilment in relationships, family and society. On the linear career path, the quest for influence and power only increases with success.

The non-linear career path is more confined to moral values, rather than high profile goals. A hurdle in the way of linear career success for women is childbirth. Hence, for a woman it is not possible to achieve self-fulfilment and career goals at the same time.

Woman is a symbol of pride, tolerance and respect. A woman with a positive attitude and strong mind has an ability to deal with obstacles. She can also maintain a good balance in her life. Unfortunately, our communities have restricted women to some specific life goals, rarely supporting them in endeavours to achieve high status in society.

Government plays a vital role in enhancing women’s status by reserving a number of seats for women in public services. It is important to consider that women’s willingness to work is conditioned by institutional arrangements and welfare policies made by government.

Working for the public sector, I have found that I cannot compete with my co-workers without improving my professional qualification and educational degree. I know some female workers who face child care challenges in the public sector as child care services are not available to them.

State involvement is crucial for achieving equality. Many women tend to drop out of a job after child birth. To protect women’s economic independence, government needs to provide them monetary remuneration for child care, and this can only be done through family related policies such as maternity and paternity leave (with pay), child care allowances and tax relief for children.

A woman will have more time and energy for her work if she gets relief from traditional female caregiving responsibilities. Expansion of public funding and public delivery of social goods and services encourage women who want to work consistently, for longer periods, on a linear path to success.

The public sector should hire highly qualified female staff to promote education among females. Higher education levels improve women’s cognitive skills. Internet-based online delivery of higher education is now the most advanced and helpful for working women. Higher education and professional training helps to accomplish the goal. Government should expand its funding for these forms of education to ensure there is more participation of females in the public sector and more representation of women in top positions.

The public sector is the place where women expect a friendly environment and can work with more confidence without fear of discrimination. Regrettably however, gender inequalities are still found in the public sector workforce.

Gender-based inequalities often handicap women’s professional capacity. For instance, women working in a police department are rarely indulged in critical cases because they are mostly assigned to deal with domestic violence or community relations. Most of the time these barriers oppress the leadership qualities of women by exploiting their strengths and abilities. There is no need of any legislative remedies to eradicate gender based obstacles; instead everyone should make an effort to bring social and cultural change into the workplace.

Women’s career development in the public sector is difficult to attain, but not impossible. Experienced female workers can become mentors to other female workers. Social learning promotes shared knowledge, removes gender disparities and helps women to attain their goals.

Female public servants should involve themselves in job training and professional courses to improve their efficiency level, which ultimately increase the chances of getting promotions in their departments. An effort to develop problem-solving abilities, creativity and communication skills will be instrumental in their career advancement.

This article is curated from Apolitical.

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1 year ago

The APS discourages non linear careers of all types – anyone who has taken a sojourn into industry or especially, academia, quickly learns that nothing that they have learned will be remotely of interest, none of their external experience will be deemed to be of any value, and their career will not only fail to advance, it may come to an abrupt end.

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