This guest post is by Soma Bhattacharya (project manager behind Stepping into Project Management).
I found India very different from the country I left six years ago when I returned home.
India is a country that is rapidly growing and is considered the hub for outsourcing IT and other domains.
My family was comprised of PhD’s and my mom was a researcher scientist. However, I knew from an early age that we were not the norm for most households during that time. Only a small number of women were able to go out and become professionals.
Today, things are very different. My Indian friends are all happy to work in high-paying jobs that allow them to live a life that is both traditional and modern. They also enjoy Friday nights at pubs, expensive restaurants and coffee shops, as well as hours of MAC shopping.
Despite all the changes in work culture, the rare combination of women and project management is not common. Deepa Koshy, a PMP with 11 years of experience work experience in India thinks that, “women are opting out of high profile/responsibility positions to be able to balance home and work”.
Professor Pawan S.Budhwar, Aston Business School, is an expert in Indian human resource management issues. He and his research team cite the Society for Human Resource Management as citing the study Women in Management in the New Economic Environment.
It is true that women with higher education are more interested in independence and are more career-oriented. They also have a greater desire to climb the corporate ladder. Women who are also managers face the challenge of managing both their traditional homemaker role and their career.
I know of female IT managers who are tired of trying to keep up with their current roles. They are more interested in quitting than continuing. Children are a key reason. While men are able to continue their career growth and job profiles, women become tired of managing high-pressure professional roles and remain the sole caregivers at home. Some people quit, while others downsize their career.
Deepa Koshy correctly explains that the reason for it all is that “there is thinking” that the money a woman earns is disposable in a household with two incomes. This seems to be a reason for growth opportunities going for men (because they need it! )”
Women in India are still growing, but they need to look beyond their current roles and change their wardrobes. It is hard to find a place in projects. Female Project Managers rarely make it onto the magazine covers. They don’t get the best projects, and are not considered the right person to travel for work.
Deepa says that the next few years will bring more change for women in project management. She concludes that “I believe we are definitely on an growth trajectory with regard to this issue as can been seen in the increasing number women in project management and other leadership roles. I see the light at the end.
Soma Bhattacharya is the blogger Stepping into Project Management and the mentorship site for project managers. This site aims to pair up experienced project managers with novices for knowledge sharing and mentoring.

Women and India in Project Management