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Family and work life: A constant challenge to women entrepreneurs

Opinion article by Prof Brownhilder Neneh, Associate Professor and Academic Head (HOD) of the Department of Business Management, University of the Free State

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We all have multiple roles we hold and play throughout life; work and family are two of the most competing and salient roles in every individual’s life. Individuals often make behavioural decisions based on their relative salience (work or family) to these life roles. Role salience refers to the importance that a person assigns to different role identities in their work and family domains. Role salience fundamentally outlines the life roles that are most important for an individual. Individuals who have family salience tend to highly value their family lives.

They see family as “a permanently executed practice centred on care obligations” and give priority to their family and secondary importance to their work roles. Individuals who have work salience are more eager to spend extra effort at work and to achieve career success. Generally, people are devoted to dedicate more time to the roles they consider most important with the objective of fulfilling the expectations and responsibilities associated with the most salient role.

With regard to women entrepreneurs, given that family and work are central to their lives as they view both roles as mutually inclusive, the overlapping nature of these roles may influence how they manage and grow their businesses based on the salience they place on their family and work roles. Managing family and work responsibilities pose a constant challenge to women entrepreneurs as the time they spend on one role makes it incompatible or reduces the time and efforts they can spend on the other role.

Nevertheless, although women entrepreneurs juggle multiple roles at once, these roles differ in their level of importance, while some could be peripheral, others could be considered prominent (salient). It follows then that while both work and family roles may be salient to some entrepreneurs, others may view only one as salient, and still others may consider neither the work nor the family role as salient. 

The salience of work and family roles

As such, the salience of work and family roles has consequences on the level and type of work-family conflict individuals could potentially experience. This has significant implications for women entrepreneurs, especially with regard to growth intentions. While role salience might be imperative for growth, it is widely established that women always strive to balance their work and family domains. As such, most of their growth decisions might be centred on whether or not they can still maintain an adequate level of work-life balance. 

Based on the arguments mentioned above, this study examined the following research question: How does family and work role salience affect the growth intentions of women entrepreneurs, and what role does work-life balance play in shaping these growth intentions? The findings revealed that work role salience is one of the fundamental factors that drive women entrepreneurs to aspire to grow their businesses. Also, work-life balance was highlighted as a predisposition to growth amongst women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, work-life balance moderated the relationship between work role salience and growth intention, such that the positive association is strengthened at high levels of work-life balance.

While this study specifically focused on women entrepreneurs, the implications of the findings are applicable to every woman across their different careers and life stages. First, the last decade has seen a significant shift and change in many women’s work and life patterns. Many women across the globe are making increasing strides towards the advancement of their careers outside of the home. This study suggests that women must be aware of their role salience if they want to grow their careers.

Knowing your salience helps you to understand the conscious and unconscious decisions you have been making as well as why you have been devoting your time to this role (s). Second, given that women are at different stages in their family lives, it is not uncommon for women who have young kids to prioritise their families over their careers. This is because they often have to split their attention between reproductive work in the home and productive work in their career and also deal with external societal pressures to perform well in their family role. 

Women still shoulder greater portion of family responsibilities

Although not limited to traditional gender-specific roles and venturing into the business world, many women still shoulder a greater portion of family responsibilities. This is evident in some families, especially in the developing world, where the traditional gender roles and stereotypes belief of men being given the primary role as the breadwinners and women as the nurturers of children and the homemakers. This has resulted in productive and reproductive labour being unevenly distributed, with reproductive labour being assigned mainly to women.

As such, women with young children must be intentional about their career advancement, which will require them to clearly define the time frames for when they prioritise family, give their career more priority, or focus on both. Third, women always strive to achieve work-life balance, and not all women will be willing to sacrifice work-life balance to advance their careers. Moreover, for most women, their family domain is highly entwined with the career domain, and as such having an adequate work-life balance is often a vital personal goal. This suggests that women must clearly define their ideal context of work-life balance and put in place support structures to enable them to enact their role salience. Once such balance is achieved, the likelihood of fostering and advancing their career will increase.

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Business & Economy

Campus 365 provides cloud-based seamless solutions to educational institutions 

With its ERP software and pioneering technological innovation, Campus 365 is disrupting the education sector and making education more effective and accessible

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Just as technology, and particularly the digital era, has disrupted and improved most major segments of India’s economy, education and training is also undergoing a tech revolution. Education Technology, more commonly known as EdTech, possesses the power to bridge the learning gap thanks to technology’s ability to eliminate geographical barriers. As much as digital adoption is the need of the hour, it is critical to retain a few unparalleled benefits of a traditional classroom setup such as group discussion, personalised support from educators and creating opportunities to work on peer collaborative assignments.

Armed with a mission to empower schools with tools that serve people in the most human, helpful way, Campus 365- an ed-tech start-up incubated by NASSCOM 10000 startup based out of Gurgaon, is providing cloud-based solutions to schools and colleges to manage and track their daily activities seamlessly. With user-friendly mobile apps to help students, parents, and teachers maintain the academic cycle, Campus 365 provides a 360-degree outlook to stakeholders assisting them in making productive decisions to escalate their progress.

“We all know that the introduction of EdTech is transforming the learning process in schools. Initially, technological abilities were not needed for students but these skills are now of much importance. Today, students should have good knowledge of online communication to attend classes, check emails, and submit assignments online and our school ERP gives our students a dedicated platform for this to make them future-ready. We at Campus 365 believe that technology is a powerful instrument that can elevate education to an advanced level, allowing students to learn and collaborate in new ways and we are constantly working towards it” said  Mayank Singh Co- Founder and CEO of Campus 365.

Campus 365 is India’s largest all-in-one app for teachers, schools, and coaching institutes to manage their online and offline classrooms in one place. This online teaching and institute management app helps users create tests & quizzes, share study material & homework, chat with students, take live online classes, record live lectures, teach using digital whiteboard, automate attendance, and much more.

Empowering 1000+ institutes globally, Campus 365’s mission is to enhance student learning by bringing innovation to education. Campus 365 partners with schools and colleges across the country to provide students with a holistic learning experience that makes them future-ready. The company offers a high-quality, end-to-end solution for every stakeholder involved in a child’s learning journey. Campus 365 tackles some of the most critical aspects of School management and reduces school staff workload. By doing so, the company ensures that school teachers nurture the young minds of tomorrow and that the school support staff enjoys using the Campus 365 School ERP engine’s superior apps. Campus 365’s innovative school management software solutions are aimed at providing the best of School ERP features and safety measures to school-going children.

Campus 365’s team is founded with a deep-rooted passion toward delivering value to not just schools, but to parents and teachers as well, who ensure that children are always walking on the path of constant innovation. Today, Campus 365 is used by schools around the world – from kindergarten to higher studies schools and non-profit schools.

Campus 365 has simplified the managing of day-to-day activities such as attendance marking, alerts through mobile applications, fees payment reminders, parent-teacher notifications, and holiday schedules. Every team member in Team Campus 365 has some experience in School and College Management Process and it is also one of the reasons why the company puts concerted efforts into optimising the School and College Management Software. Breaking complex software and making them user-friendly is the top priority of Team Campus 365.

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Microsoft announces winners of Future Ready Applications Hackathon held across six cities

The hackathon was held in Delhi NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, & Kochi

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  • The top three winners of the hackathon from each city received cash rewards of INR 50,000, INR 30,000, and INR 20,000 respectively

Microsoft today announced the winners of the Future Ready Applications hackathon. In Hyderabad, more than 250 participants joined the 8-hour-long in-person event open to all Microsoft customers and pro developer community in India. The participants came up with new age, innovative apps which were built on cloud-native architectures leveraging the Microsoft Azure platform.

The event also provided an opportunity for the participants to interact and engage with subject matter experts across Microsoft, its key partner organizations, Tech Influencers and Microsoft Valuable Professionals across India. Participants showcased innovative solutions to solve real-world business challenges around four key themes – fintech, e-commerce, sustainability, and developer velocity.

The hackathon saw an overwhelming response from startups, and enterprises from the technology sector focused on building customer experience and developer velocity as a theme. Developer professionals with industry experience ranging from 3-15 years representing leading technology companies like Accenture, EY, TCS, WIPRO, Cognizant amongst others participated in the event.

The top three winners from Hyderabad were:

Microsoft FRA Hackathons Winners Hyderabad
PositionTeam NameSolutionCategory
WinnerGROUP I: Aravind Palisetty, Srikanth Mudili, Vasanth KoradaDevFocus with AzureDeveloper velocity
Runner UpGROUP J: Srinu, Irfan Ali Zaidi, Ravitej Nerella, Chaitanya Venkata Manikanta ChintalapatiPick & ParkSustainability
Second Runner UpThought Solvers:·        Rishi BFinancial Management Applications through AzureFin Tech

The winning teams were shortlisted based on their innovative idea and their presentations. In addition to the reward for winners, all the participants were given $200 Azure credit coupons and participation certificates.

Aparna Gupta, Executive Director, Customer Success, Microsoft India, said,“At Microsoft, we are committed to designing solutions and providing the right skills and resources for pro and citizen developers to grow and thrive in a digital economy. The Future Ready Applications hackathon was organized to bring India’s brightest technical minds together to collaborate, connect and innovate. Congratulations to all the hackathon winners. We are very excited to see the innovative thinking and the potential of scale of some of these applications that will enable businesses in India to solve for challenges, innovate and grow on cloud.”  

Microsoft Azure platform hosts more than 200 products and cloud services which can help developers solve today’s challenges and design solutions for the future. Our goal is to empower developers to harness the power of the cloud, enabling them to move from idea to code; code to cloud and cloud to the world.  A series of initiatives focused on developers have been launched to empower the community like the Blogathon Challenge, Azure Developer League, virtual training days, cloud skills challenge across the Azure community present in 100 Indian cities.

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Business & Economy

Takeda becomes a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) in India

As a signatory, Takeda has committed to adopting the Ten Principles of the UNGC which are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a global values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader announced that its India operations has become a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the largest sustainability initiative globally.

As a signatory, Takeda has committed to adopting the Ten Principles of the UNGC which are derived from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. 

Ratnesh Kumar, Executive Director, UN-GCNI said, “The commitment to support UNGC Principles & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has encouraged socially responsible organizations to join the Global Compact initiative. We are delighted to welcome Takeda India into the GCN family and look forward to jointly pursuing goal-oriented initiatives towards the advancement of UN Global Compact’s mandates.”

Speaking on the announcement, Ms. Serina Fischer, General Manager for Takeda in India said, “Takeda is proud to have a values-based culture as its strong foundation. Our Global Code of Conduct is based on principles that are organized around Patient-Trust-Reputation-Business in that order. It embodies the spirit of Takeda — what we stand for and how we conduct ourselves. We are proud to become a signatory to adopt the Ten Principles of UNGC which is another step in bringing our global code of conduct to life and at the same time enables us in contributing to sustainable development goals (SDGs) while advocating for responsible business practices.” 

“We’re focused on accelerating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) initiatives across our business and look forward to working with the UNGC to make more progress toward the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Takeda in India is already a member of the UNGC’s Centre of Excellence for Governance, Ethics and Transparency (CEGET) and Anti-Corruption Collective Action Work Group (ACCA) focused on shaping governance transparency and anti-corruption initiatives” said Dr. Ruchi Sogarwal, Head of Public Affairs and Patient Advocacy for Takeda India.

Over the years, with its journey in India, Takeda has been a key industry leader in establishing ethical practices as a global corporate and is currently working to bring effective aid to rare disease patients in the country.

Ten Principles of the UNGC:

Human Rights

Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights.

Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses.

Labour

Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.

Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour.

Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour.

Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Environment.

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.

Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility.

Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

Anti-Corruption

Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

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