‘Welcome Life’ Aims to Expand Maternity Leave
by Asmita Kothari
Back in 2011, when Bhumika Marwaha was expecting a baby, the idea for an ongoing project – Welcome Life – was born. At this critical juncture in her life, she realized that her mind was not geared up 100% to welcome this new life. She was extremely worried about her work and career after the break. Once she went back to work after 7 months, it wasn’t the same anymore, and she needed to take up a role that maintained a perfect balance between work and her personal life.
‘Welcome Life’ is about ensuring that women workforce in India accept motherhood with open arms; without any anxieties related to joining back to work and don’t look at it as a perceived compromise. The project is intended to change the legislation in India on the maternity leave period, and introduction of paternity leave, creating options to ensure an atmosphere of inclusiveness.
While she created a balance and compromised on her aspirations of ascending the corporate ladder in the roles where she wanted to, Bhumika saw that many of her friends and cousins left their jobs as they could not cope up with the tension. Some of them, who did not give up, still struggle daily to make both ends meet. She also got present to the fact that women assumed a lot on their own from the past conditioning, and hence men played a marginal role in child care. She began to think about enablers that could work to create near to equal responsibilities of both the parents to bring a new life into the world and nurture it.
The target community of ‘Welcome Life’ is working mothers who have not given up their corporate aspirations and the focus is about inspiring them to make a difference in the life of all those who are yet to reach the unsaid stage of making a choice.
Some of the project’s goals include:
- Overcoming the challenge of how busy working mothers are to have them be leaders in pioneering legislative changes.
- Creation of 10 leaders
- Creation of a high level plan
- Creation of short and long research briefs
- Discussion with two very big Indian corporations
- Long term goal – enjoyment of motherhood grows significantly in India with equal participation from women in the workforce.
- Long term goal – corporations enjoy sustainable growth as an outcome of employee continuity and diversity.
Bhumika says that “Landmark is the single largest contributor in all that is possible today for me personally and for this project. If it was not for Landmark’s technology, this project would have remained in the mind. A big thank you to Landmark’s courses which have impacted my life in all positive ways.”