Despite being in a majority across the world, according to TeamStage, women only make up 47.7% of the workforce with 61% of them reporting that they think motherhood hampers opportunities to progress their careers. But how many women are in the workforce in Pakistan? The relatively recent and sluggish move away from cultural impediments such as rigid gender roles which relegate men to the office and women to the domestic, has decisively improved women’s access to employment opportunities. Despite this, the World Bank reports, in 2021 only 20.2% of the Pakistani workforce was made up of women.
A major reason for this glaring absence is the fact that women are expected to prioritize their maternal roles, often having to choose between raising a child or work. Even with a supportive partner, women are inadvertently excluded due to having a comparatively lower income due to pre-existing issues such as gender disparity and the pay gap. One way to alleviate this problem is by developing early childcare facilities such as nurseries, playrooms and daycares.
So, how can nurseries help working parents?
Though there are some good daycares in Pakistan, a persisting issue is their location and the long tiring commutes parents have to make to pick and drop their children. Tackling Childcare Pakistan, a landscape analysis of family-friendly workplace policies and practices, commissioned by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Pakistan Business Council (PBC) found 77% of respondents reported on-site daycare centers as preferred childcare arrangements by their employees.
At Daftarkhwan we also found this to be a great necessity for working mothers and parents. Fitted with coworking halls and a thriving culture of collaboration with an abundance of private offices, conference rooms and skype pods, Daftarkhwan aims to offer a flexible workplace for everyone, which is why Daftarkhwan has launched it’s very own playroom at it’s headquarters in Lahore, Daftarkhwan | Vogue, providing its team and 800+ members with the flexibility and comfort to co-manage their and their child’s schedules.
Catering to ages of 5 and under, the playroom is painted in soothing pastels, complete with a variety of toys and books to encourage intellectual development and keep children engaged. Sadia Arshad, Senior Software Quality Assurance for Starzplay, expressed her interest in the playroom, stating her 18 month old son, Aayan, could greatly benefit from, “Interacting with kids his age. It could help bridge existing communication gaps.”
Are nurseries safe?
Daftarkhwan has gone above and beyond to ensure the security of its playroom, from being located in a site where access is strictly regulated through team issued key cards and active surveillance to carefully vetted nannies and upholstered walls to negate any chances of injury. Ahmed Iqbal, Head of Graphic Designing at Globital, father of two, exclaims, “Being a father, I’ll have mental peace that my baby is in safe hands.”
Zara Laeeque, part of Daftarkhwan’s very own People and Culture team, has been bringing her 8 month old daughter, Mirha, to work daily since she was 3 months old. Having actively looked forward to the playroom, Zara believes “Creating this facility- for men and women- shows how progressive daftarkhwan is as a company. It takes care of its members and employees and treats them like a family.”
The fastest growing network of coworking sites, daftarkhwan encourages agile working. With more playrooms in the pipeline, daftarkhwan attempts to pave the way to a more inclusive and diverse work space.