Why Women Work? Manisha Lath Gupta

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manisha lath

Manisha Lath Gupta has spent 18 years in the Corporate world across FMCG and Banking. After doing sales and marketing roles in Unilever and Colgate Palmolive in the personal care categories, she successfully transitioned into Banking as the Chief Marketing Officer of Axis Bank. Carrying her marketing knowledge into banking, she set up the marketing team and delivered on the brand and business goals and over time additionally managed all the electronic banking channels of Axis Bank. The urge to reinvent herself yet again and chase an idea of ten years prompted her to turn entrepreneur with her start up IndianArtCollectors.com, the largest and most innovative online art platform to bring together artists, collectors, dealers, galleries and re-sellers onto a single powerful online platform.

Why Women Work? Manisha Lath Gupta

I recently read an article in the Huffington Post about how women in India have jobs and not careers. Citing conversations with a couple of professional Indian women (including a quote from Indira Nooyi), the piece highlighted how a career becomes an afterthought for most women once they don on the role of a wife, a daughter-in-law or a mother. It prompted me to dig out this article I had written a couple of years ago on Why Women Work.

Enough is said and written about why women drop out of work. But I wanted to talk about why women work, and not why women drop out of work. If the world in general focuses on why we work in the first place, there may be a better chance of retaining more women at the work place.

It’s quite simple! We work because we were brought up believing that this is what we would do. Just like parents have dreams for sons, they have dreams for daughters too. And their dream was to see their daughters well educated, financially independent and socially productive. Their pride comes from introducing their daughters for what they do, and not for whom they married. So we work for our parents.

We work because we grew up developing our creativity, our analytical skills, our communication skills, getting a good education, being able to contribute our thoughts within organisations, communities and societies. We work because our work gives us a positive self image, a status in our social circles and a positive sense of accomplishment. We work because we know that if we ever fall on hard times, we will be able to look after ourselves and those who may be dependent on us. We work for ourselves.

We work because that’s the side of us our husbands knew first –either at college or at the work place, when we first met and fell in love. They love to have a friend at home to share their office troubles with, brainstorm their problems with, discuss and debate the corporate world, people and politics. They are proud of their wives for what they do and accomplish. We work for our husbands.

We work because we really make a difference at our work place just like many of our male colleagues. We come up with ideas, we solve problems, we drive growth, and in hard times we cut costs and deliver the bottom line. We get recognition and reward; we earn the respect of our peers. We work for our organisations.

We work because working women contribute to the creation of a fairer, more equal society, and drive many positive changes in the community. We spend our time productively; help the cause of many helpers who work in our offices or homes, either monetarily or through mentoring. Women have more empathy and make better employers or supervisors. We are roles models for the less privileged women who believe that education and hard work can change the lives of their daughters. We work for society.

We work because our children are really proud of us working moms! They love to see their mom dress smartly for office, put in a hard day’s work, give career advice and discuss technology & trends. They love to hear stories from their mom about her experiences and her work place. And most importantly they have a role model in their mom, rather than some other lady on the cover of a business magazine. We work for our children.

But the question women ask themselves most often is can we really have it all? Well nobody has it all. Even the most successful of men do not have it all. But with a supportive partner, good domestic help, determination and some luck, I would say we could strike a decent balance. So long as we don’t take our gender too seriously and look at all situations through the lens of womanhood, we could. If we take the ups and downs in work life in our stride and don’t pick the slightest excuse to throw in the towel, we could. If we resist the pressure to succumb to the ‘time macho’ culture, we could. As long as we keep the long term in mind and just do our best at home and work on a day to day basis, we could. And most importantly if we strive for happiness and a well rounded life, instead of money and promotions, we could.

We owe it to all the people around us to keep working. Work is only one part, but an important part of our lives. We spent the first 25 years of our lives grooming and training ourselves to pursue careers. Our personalities are wired to work, and when we stop going out of our homes to do useful work we become competitive mothers, nagging wives and quarreling employers to our domestic help – doing a great disservice to all those who love us for what we really are!



143 thoughts on “Why Women Work? Manisha Lath Gupta

  1. Nice article but work of housewives cant be ignored only because they dont get paid
    If a chef cooks food we consider it respect bcz chef is being paid n when housewife cooks food we dont consider it worth bcz she s not being paid


  2. Why do women have to defend themselves when they work and when they don’t? As a educated women if we have choice to be boss of our home and take care of kids and community,it than we should be fine too. If you have to make that decision for a family or for husband or even taking care of an eldery and you are not depend on domestic help or husband willingness, as a women we should be proud of that. We act as.a glue which keep family and society intact. As a child we were proud of our mom to give us clean and secured home where we used to come and unload our daily rant. They also showed us that besides working for profit there are are some help which is done for love in a relationship or as a educated women for the society too..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. very well said…i have given up my job..a 10 yrs career just to run my family smoothly..to take enough care of my child and inlaws..and i dont have any regret…would love make a great loving family….its completely personal choice…


  3. Wow …very well written and this is very good answer for the people who always think that women work only to balance financial status @ home.


  4. Truly inspiring article. Answers the question of financial independence vs intelligence of a woman at work. we work as we are women ( just as a man does).


  5. Why women work! Wait. Why do we need this question at the first place?

    Why noone asks why men work or why men don’t drop out of work?

    When are we gonna think beyond this?

    Why we are talking less about fair work right policies and no discrimination policies?

    Why women work? Really? Do we still need this question?

    India needs feminism!


  6. Wait. This question broke my heart. Why women work?

    Do we still need this question?
    Why we don’t ask why men work or why men don’t drop out of work?

    When are we going to think beyond this?
    Why we talk less about fair work right policies and anti discrimination policies?

    India needs feminism because we still write about why women work. 🙂


  7. nicely written n very nicely presented.. Yaah,, every daughter & every mother should work to make a differnt world around her…


  8. Very well written. Very true that women in India have jobs and not careers. We tend to fight and sustain all other relationships around us, playing multiple roles at home and realize the fact that we need to build a career at a very later stage in life.


  9. Well I worked too.. And I am very proud of the education my parents provided all 4 of us sisters. I drive many a critical projects in my office, discussed my spouse’s office issues. I worked in projects where I was the only female doing night shifts. And I had a good circle of friends and was very upto date with fashion and trends.
    But now I am stay at home mom, with two kids. Working 24/7, juggling the needs of a 5yr old preschooler and 5month infant. I am up all day and night. Not upto date with fashion trend anymore, no time to discuss office issues of my spouse, and no time for chat with friends too. It might doing boring to you, but it’s the most enjoyable job.

    I can totally dedicate myself in looking after the home front with all my heart. I learnt to be more humble and patient. More tolerant in all walk of my life. I have more awareness now and help my husband to be more patient and enjoy everyday small moments of joy, instead of we both living a splitted life between work and home.
    I totally respect women who work. And sometimes feel that I have the better privilege than them as I can stay at home and fully enjoy home front. I don’t feel left out or worthless at all.
    Women should stop trying to be equal with men by doing everything that men can do. Instead they should try to complete the picture by trying to do what men cannot do.
    Giving love, spending time with kids, being humble , a little less professional at times. Being humane.. All this comes so naturally to women.. Think yourself lucky if you could get a chance to experience this


    1. Fantastic Jyoti kudos on your decision . Ive often come across us women being skeptical about staying at home !!! The typical Q I’ve overheard ” So what do you do” and it puts the woman answering this on the defensive.
      I call this the ‘Draupadi’ syndrome . Draupadi asked Gandhari for help telling her to stop her son’s from disrobing her . Gandhari for reasons didn’t till we all know krishna intervened.Moral – support each other .build a tirbe.


  10. the demands of corporate world from an employee is so high today that i find only two category of women working there….one who needs to support her family financially,more precisely where the male member of the family is not earning sufficiently to meet the daily needs of the family and when a women wants a separate identity of herself in the society and is ambitious…..i have seen my lady colleagues juggle between unending and unrealistic targets of office and family life…the late office hours add to their misery….and they go through tremendous work-life balance pressure…..it has become increasingly diffcult for a a family women to balance all that….but they do it because they have exceptional organisational ability…..HATS OFF WOMEN !!!!


  11. Women work out of home for any number of reasons. But a home maker works equally or probably at times much more but it’s simply not taken note of. Woman is powerful beyond measure.
    Though a woman is gifted with equal mental.capacity as men, women have to be confidently feminine. Strive for a happy And contended life. Women are biologically better equipped to raise a family and attend to their needs. Learn to strike a fine balance between family and career. It will make you sail smoothly in your life’s journey.


  12. Indeed, nice article & great write up!

    Not to let anyone down, we are in year 2016 & we still talk about why women work..? My simple question is .. Why? Is this question necessary to be asked? Do we need to seek permission or require acknowledgement from anyone in society for what we do as ‘women’ .. For being a different gender, I don’t think we should pressurise ourselves of being role models as daughters, daughter’s-in-law, wife, mother, home maker, corporate employee, entrepreneur, etc etc.. Doesn’t it stress anyone to be an “all rounder” simply because “xyz” expects it?

    Yes, 25 yrs we have been groomed for a great life ahead. In the process of the next 25 yrs, we carry on with life wondering – What do we owe? Whom do we owe? How much do we owe? When do we owe?

    We should do what we like in life – no boundaries drawn, no limitations.

    Like Richard Bach says..you don’t have to fight to live as you wish. Live as you wish & pay whatever price is required!


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