The reasons behind the cohort of skilled women joining this expanding industry lie in its many advantages, the main ones being the flexibility of location, the freedom to choose clients or projects, the use of skills and the possibility of achieve financial solvency by becoming autonomous while eradicating the unemployment crisis in the country.
“Since many qualified, talented and competent women are forced to stop working after marriage in our country, self-employment appears to be a more feasible option than any other, especially for women who belong to conservative families. “said Emrazina Islam, Co-founder of Emrazina Technologies and winner of the BASIS Freelancing Award as Brand Ambassador at Payoneer.
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âIn my office, 90% of the employees are women. Our business is now fully operating from home due to the foreclosure. All of our employees spend more time with their families. I can also take care of my daughter at home. It is a huge advantage for me in accomplishing my goal. My team members work from home, and they do computer work while maintaining complete professionalism. I am therefore happy with this decision. Many found it awkward to move from the workplace to the remote work scenario, but we didn’t; we have been doing this successfully since 2015, âshe added.
Joyeta Banerjee, CEO of TalkStory, a freelance teacher at Robi 10 Minute School, renowned author and content creator, also shared her views. âWe all know how much of a problem road safety is for women, and self-employment also saves commuting time. Spatial borders no longer exist due to the widespread internet connection nationwide. Women, residing in villages or living even in the most remote places, are successful in working as self-employed. They earn their living in foreign currency and support their families, âshe said. âSelf-employment has certainly improved our employment opportunities. Women are doing technology-based jobs like web design, content writing, software and application development, web research, graphic design, data entry etc. regardless of background, age or location, and they do so with the same credibility as their male counterparts, ensuring a victorious reputation in Bangladesh on global platforms. “
Amid all the praise and accomplishments, however, there are various challenges that women regularly face. These have also found their way into the freelance industry. Emrazina pointed out that each job is ten times harder for women; whether freelance or any other conventional job. Women are often expected to take on all family responsibilities while maintaining their professionalism at work.
âIt is difficult for the self-employed to convince their family members that hiring the night shift is necessary for international time zones or how difficult a stable income can be in the beginning. Self-employment is by no means easy work. It requires an equal amount. of dedication like conventional work. It is difficult for women to cope with the workload while working from home, which makes it more difficult for them to find their way to a perfect work-life balance, âshe said.
Additionally, Joyeta pointed out that she noticed that some issues her students face are recurring and the same for everyone. âThe issues women face as well as inadequate resources are the lack of authentic information on how different payment methods work, how to approach their potential customers or how working hours require immense adaptability. their part, especially from students or women who manage work and housework. household chores at the same time, âshe said. âUnfortunately, people interested in this industry can be lethargic at times. They are reluctant to do their research before joining this industry, which becomes a chore at first for them. Another thing that caught my attention is that families are often skeptical. and against self-employment, as women’s safety is vulnerable in this world where cybercrime is on the rise. They find it risky to let women do jobs online. Although many believe that work freelance is a comfortable job, for those who manage their obstacles – it’s not all the sun and the rainbows “.
Additionally, while exploring the future potential of freelancing for Bangladeshi women, we asked mentor Joyeta and enterprising freelance writer Emrazina for their views on what this lucrative industry has to offer Bangladeshi women in the future. Both assured us with words of hope and valuable advice for newcomers.
Joyeta opened up, saying, âWhat I would like to know before embarking on my freelance journey is that I should have learned more than one skill before entering this workplace. There is no guarantee that you will always be hired in this dynamic workplace, having multiple skills under your sleeves helps tremendously. The market demands to keep up with changing customer preferences. Acquiring knowledge about the job self-employment is the first step. Self-employment requires impeccable organizational skills, therefore, for best performance, good planning and preparation accordingly are of paramount importance. “
âMy strategy was to do extensive research online and use free material as the institutional fees were not affordable for me. I continued to practice on my own; the rest comes with experience. have all the necessary documents like NID or bank account sorted. Another prerequisite for self-employment is to accept change. If you want to survive here you have to keep learning because it will help you turn your skills into monetary value, âshe added.
On the flip side, Emrazina said, âI have been working in this industry since 2011, and the change I notice the most is how competitive the outsourcing markets have become. Women inherently have certain attributes that are essential for self-employment. it is true that many want to work as freelancers, they do not have the basic skills. They should work on their communication and computer skills for best results. People looking for shortcuts to success end up creating multiple accounts under fake names, taking exams on behalf of someone else, or even claiming other people’s work as their own by including them in their portfolios. These unethical activities slander the name of the country, which has the effect of affecting the trust of client communities by professionally hurting everyone â.
âHowever, there is light at the end of the tunnel as the mindset of our society changes over time in terms of gender parity. The future is bright if we can collectively, with intervention and The effort of governmental or non-governmental initiatives as well as other relevant figures, predict that the sector is protected against fraud, which takes the wrong path, because it is a promising sector which opens many windows of opportunity for women. more women will participate in this workforce. Many men have contacted us for advice for their mothers, sisters and wives. Therefore, we can expect more involvement in the years to come. Our grandmothers and mothers have already done so much for the world, so why can’t we support this notion? âconcludes Emrazina.
Meanwhile, Jamila Jhuma, who started working as a freelance writer in 2019 and secured her place as a level two salesperson at Fiverr, shared her experience with us. She is married and the mother of two children. She has all the good things to say about this career option, although she too believes that the path to becoming a freelance writer is not easy for women as they have to seek permission or approval from others. She is immensely satisfied with her choice to be a freelance writer, which allows her to take care of her children while excelling in her career. The flexibility of working hours is a blessing for her.
âDespite contemporary constraints and barriers, since I was determined to my sole mission to create an identity, I was able to discover myself through my freelance career. It’s the job that suits me best. Aspiring freelancers to know their job and improve their skills to establish themselves as freelancers. Self-employed jobs offer many opportunities for women, “she said.