Empowering Women Worldwide

Feasibility Analysis for the Implementation of EU Methods and Good Practices in India

“Women’s participation in education and in the labor-force are drivers for economic growth and therefore, it is in the interest of a society to achieve gender equality. Career counselling and guidance is beneficial for everyone, yet for women there is more complexity, as early gender-role orientation, inequities in the work-life and the multiple-role-dilemma are just few influential factors on female development and careers.” (Helene Tscharnig)

Ms. Helena Tscharnig, will graduate in International Management at FH JOANNEUM – University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria in Summer 2020. She has written two very interesting thesis papers, which are connected to the Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education project RAINBOW (http://projectrainbow.in/). The two papers are shortly introduced below and can be downloaded clicking on the links next to the articles.

State of the Art of Career Counseling Services with Recommendations, Interventions and Good Practices

The first paper aims to establish the state of the art of career counseling services for academically educated women in the EU. Scientific theories in this field are well-developed, also taking gender-differences into account. It is found that many of the main barriers for women starting their career in the EU are socialized. In addition, they also serve as an explanation for existing gender-inequities at the workplace. To overcome these obstacles, female-targeted career counseling is necessary, which can empower women and help them proactively tackle the barriers. Furthermore, career centers at universities in the European Union provide insufficient support to female clients, as most of the services are gender neutral. For the most part, their service portfolio consists of job search activities. Individual counseling sessions are rarely available, as they are only able to give advice regarding recruitment, and therefore they are seldomly professionally trained to carry out career counseling. Outside of academia, many counselors are available. Existing programs both from the public and private sector widely support women interested in STEM and scientific or academic careers.

Feasibility Analysis for the Implementation of EU Methods and Good Practices in India

The second paper is studying the area of career counselling and guidance for academically educated women. The aim is to find out, whether good practice frameworks and methods used in the European Union, could be workable solutions in India as well. The thesis is part of the project “RAINBOW”, which is a cooperation of European and Indian higher educational institutions. The project goals are to provide career counselling and guidance to female students and graduates in India and to implement the required capacities.

As India is such a large and diverse country, the presented methods and frameworks always must be contextualized. Influential factors on the effectiveness of coaching and counselling services are language differences, the diversity of regions, various religions, social classes, and a divide of urban, rural, and even tribal households. The experience of skilled and trained personnel is necessary, to adapt the methods to the individual circumstances.

It is found, that in the Indian educational system, various schemes are already running, and further programs can be implemented. Further methods used for career counselling and coaching in the EU can be transferred to the Indian context. Institutional frameworks are also in place in India, which are highly important to achieve gender equality.

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