Until recently, most women preferred to pursue careers in the hospitality sector, in personal services, as air hostesses or beauticians, in teaching, catering, selling and clerical jobs, but for many, it remained only a job and not a satisfying career. We take a look at some interesting career options that can be challenging yet fulfilling for women in the Northeast.
Career in Finance
Until a few years ago, banking and financial services were male-dominated careers, where few women made it beyond mid-level executive positions. However, the ratio is beginning to change. Private sector banks, merchant banking departments and corporate financial services hire trained and competent women, particularly in the marketing sections where the emphasis is on the ability to relate to customers, identify their needs and promote banks services. As more female students enrol in professional financial training programmes, careers like chartered accountancy have also become accessible for women with numerical ability.
Career in Civil /Government Services
The civil services have always provided equal opportunities for all but the number of Northeastern female officers is still comparatively low. As the civil services covers every field of enterprise, from administration, education, welfare, accounts, railways, information, to science and technology, forestry, trade, commerce and international relations, it provides vast opportunities for women. There is a Women’s Special Entry Scheme (officers) for women graduates (between 19-27 years of age) in specified areas.
(i) The Indian Navy was the first among the services to induct women in its non-combatant cadres. Unmarried graduate women are eligible for the Short Service Commission of 7 years, extendable to 10 years. There are also opportunities for women in the educational branch for which the academic requirement is a Master’s degree.
(ii) In the Indian Army, there are increasing numbers of women in non-combatant areas including the Army Service Corps, Ordnance Corps, Education Corps, Signals, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, the Judge, Advocate General’s Branch and the Army Intelligence Corps. Women are selected after graduation and through the Services Selection Board followed by medical tests.
(iii) The Indian Air Force accepts women into certain branches, such as the technical and ground duty branches. Since 1992, women pilots have also been inducted into the Air Force on non-combatant duties. Selection for pilots is through a pilot aptitude test as part of the SSB interview exercise. For those with a penchant for flying, here is a career where the sky is the limit.
Career in Cost Accountancy
You enter a departmental store and buy a soap. The sales girl collects ten rupees as its price. Who fixes the prices of different market goods? Despite common belief, a marketing executive does not fix prices, a finance professional well-versed in the process of costing does. This is the area of expertise of a cost accountant. The functions of a cost accountant covers a wide range of activities including evaluation of worth in investments, critical analysis of financial performance of an organization, co-ordination of activities in the various departments of industrial or commercial undertakings, and providing advice to management on matters of finance. Any candidate who has passed the 10+2 examination or the National Diploma in Commerce examination can apply for the foundation course examination which is usually held in June and December each year.
Career in Entrepreneurship
Women today are tapping their entrepreneurial skills to set up efficiently run home-based businesses, create and market innovative products, provide a range of services such as tuition bureaux or placement agencies, supply plants, design web pages, conduct cookery classes and so on, and even run manufacturing units. Organizations like the National Research and Development Corporation and the Department of Science and Technology help women develop new project ideas into viable commercial ventures. There are also entrepreneurship training organizations such as the National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Business Development in New Delhi. Various banks and financial institutions also provide financial assistance at reduced rates of interest to encourage women entrepreneurs, while women themselves are coming together in associations, or setting up non-governmental organizations to help and encourage other women.
Career in Media, Journalism and Mass Communication
If you have a flair for writing, an ability to express ideas concisely, have a curious, creative, enterprising and dynamic personality then you are made for this profession. Advertising was once a male dominated, but today offers exciting and challenging career options to young, hard-working and ambitious women. This is an industry where rewards are directly proportional to the initiative displayed and results achieved. Ambitious women can therefore quickly rise to the top.
Career in Civil Aviation
Another highflying career for girls is as a commercial pilot with a civil airline. In recent years, many national and international airlines have been recruiting women pilots.
Becoming a pilot is an expensive exercise, and can cost anywhere between 6 – 15 lacs for professional training. But this expense can be considered as an investment, because once employed, most pilots are given handsome pay packages. To get a CPL, one should pass 10+2 examination with Physics and Mathematics. Candidate must be between the age of 18 to 30. Minimum height should be 5.5ft and eyesight should be 6/6.
Career in Building and Construction
The construction industry sustains one of our basic needs of shelter and so has the highest employment potential. This is an industry which involves architects who design the buildings, town and country planners who ensure the best utilization of land, civil engineers who convert the designs into reality, as well as contractors, draughts men, surveyors, and a range of skilled craftsmen for setting up and finishing the building. So far women have confined themselves to the role of architects. But as the construction industry is becoming more organized, job options in the building and construction industry have started to appeal to more and more women, particularly in the area of self-employment.