Assessing work-life balance among IT & ITeS women professionals.

AuthorPandu, A.
PositionInformation technology


The roles and expectations of women and men have changed significantly over the past 50 years. One consequence has been a shift in the importance of work relative to family and leisure. More women than ever before are now in the workforce, reflecting the rising educational levels, changing societal attitudes and declining birth rates. The unprecedented increase in number of dual earner households, which has increased the likelihood those both male and female workers, will have domestic responsibilities in addition to work responsibilities. Managing work and family responsibilities can be very difficult for employees in dual income families and now a days women are choosing to delay or forego child-bearing to pursue fulfilling careers.

Defining Work-life Balance

Work-life balance has received much attention in the popular management literature. Work-life balance is about the interaction between paid work and other activities, including unpaid work in families and the community, leisure, and personal development. Work-life balance is about creating a productive work culture where the potential for tensions between work and other parts of people's lives is minimized. This means having appropriate employment provisions in place, and organizational systems and supportive management underpinning them. Work-life balance for any one person is having the 'right' combination of participation in paid work (defined by hours and working conditions), and other aspects of their lives. This combination will not remain fixed, but may change over time.

While much has been written about work-life balance, most studies do not explicitly define the concept. Greenhaus, Collins & Shaw (2003) defined work-family balance as "the extent to which an individual is equally engaged in--and equally satisfied with--his or her work role and family role" (Greenhaus et al., 2003 : 513). Participation in multiple roles can contribute to good mental and physical health so long as the degree of "fit" between work and family is satisfactory (Barnett, Garies & Brennan, 1999; Marks & MacDermid, 1996). Greenhaus et al. (2003) operationalized the concept of work-family balance as comprising three components. These are: (1) Time balance, whereby equal amounts of time are devoted to work and family; (2) Involvement balance, whereby an equal level of psychological involvement in work and family roles exists; and (3) Satisfaction balance, whereby an equal level of satisfaction is derived from work and family roles. Greenhaus et al. suggest that balance can be positive where inputs to both roles and outputs (i.e. satisfaction) from both roles are high. Alternatively, balance can be negative, where inputs and outputs associated with both the roles are low. Furthermore, Greenhaus et al. report that individuals who were more engaged in work life than they were in family life reported higher levels of work-family conflict and stress. In contrast, individuals who were more engaged in family life than work life reported the highest quality of life and lowest levels of stress.

Conceptual Background of IT & ITeS

According to the Information Technology Association of America IT (Information Technology) is: the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware, whereas ITeS (Information Technology enabled Services) is a form of outsourced service which has emerged due to involvement of IT in various fields such as banking and finance, telecommunications, insurance, etc.

ITeS are the services which do require the aid of IT but not the hard-core IT. It includes soft skills like communication wherein we do make use of computer to feed in the responses. These services are mainly used in BPOs and KPOs wherein we feed the information of the customers in the database on computer. ITeS is a part of IT. It also has a part called BPO (Business Process Outsourcing), BPO in itself again is a huge field. The latest development in ITeS field is BPO, Callcenter, Back Office job and now what is coming is KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) & LPO (legal process outsourcing)

Brief Review of Studies

Considerable research has highlighted the importance of stress and work life balance for organizational performance. Among the variables that have been studied, work autonomy, fairness of rewards, work-family conflict and family responsibility have assumed special importance and are consistent with the trend towards providing more autonomy to employees. Since work life balance is an important indicator of a professional's health and well being a number of researchers have attempted to identify the predictors and antecedents of this construct.

Fan Weiand Fend Ying (2011) analyzed professional women's work family conflict and their stress effect. The study comprised sample of 121 professional women. Results indicated that professional women self-role perceived and social-role perceived have conflicts. Education, income ratio and professional...

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