Number of Employed, Very Educated Single women (EVES) on the rise in Urban India

first_imgUrban WomanUntil not so long ago, there was always the ‘right’ age to get married, and a ‘right’ sequence of priorities, which dictated that a woman’s place was with her family. But today, an increasing number of working women are defying this typecasting. Meet the EVES-the Employed, Very Educated Single,Urban WomanUntil not so long ago, there was always the ‘right’ age to get married, and a ‘right’ sequence of priorities, which dictated that a woman’s place was with her family. But today, an increasing number of working women are defying this typecasting. Meet the EVES-the Employed, Very Educated Single women. These are professionals who are putting off marriage to pursue career ambitions. Armed with a degree, they are ‘work gypsies’ by choice and follow promising job opportunities to new cities where they set up home. It is the final step towards real independence- a life where they are their own chief wage earners as well as moral guardians.Severing the umbilical cord with their parental home is forcing EVES to come into their own as decision-makers. While the average working woman continues to consult parents or husband for big buys, they are the sole decision-makers even for traditionally male-domain purchases like cars and electronics. Most manage their own investments and are fairly savvy about different financial products. This comfort with money is a far cry from the average finance-shy woman. Having said this, many EVES tend to be living a footloose bachelor existence and spending on themselves comes more easily than saving for later.As EVES settle into life away from family, workplace relationships assume greater importance, and relationships with same-age peers in particular become more complex and intimate.India Consumer Trend 06-0745% of the monthly salary of the average woman between 21 and 25 is spent on eating out, buying clothes and on watching movies.13% of the supposedly finance-shy single working woman’s wallet is spent on financial services, only one per cent behind her male counterparts.On one hand, there is an underlying desire to outshine. But at another level, they are the source of companionship in a strange city and many EVES confess to carrying personal troubles to office. In fact, emotional dependence on friends is so high, that in an emergency it is often friends who are contacted even before local relatives.For most working women, family and friends are a strong support system. But EVES must combat the same stress by themselves and also handle the pressures of running an independent household, which translates into a higher need for entertainment and relaxation. This shows itself in high spends on food, music, movies and entertainment electronics. But at a deeper level, this also becomes a search for ‘fun’ in whatever they do; from places where they shop, to programmes they watch, to clothes they wear.Most EVES discard feminine mannerisms in favour of a more androgynous personality. This comes on one hand, from doing many ‘man’s jobs’-from changing flat tyres to changing gas cylinders-that come with staying alone. Equally, it grows out of the need to manage men, be it office colleagues or the local plumber. EVES learn to underplay vulnerabilities and project an assertive, genderneutral manner; some even pick up strong language to project a tough personality, while others cultivate traditionally male-domain interests like sports and automobiles.With no one to question them on anything from how late they come home, to who they hang out with, to what they are spending on, EVEs enjoy more freedom to extend the cultural permissions available to them. And while most wouldn’t carry this into things that go diametrically against their upbringing, many use this opportunity to experiment with new lifestyles. This can take the form of finding new hangouts and eateries, trying new cuisines or, even new hobbies and adventure sports. Often this becomes a quest for self-transformation, and many EVES experiment frequently with their looks and wardrobe after branching off on their own.For most EVES, this gypsy existence is a passing phase, to be relinquished one day in favour of the stability of marriage. But their brush with independence and financial empowerment leaves a taste of freedom, which may well become a trait of the working woman of tomorrow. The writer is Consumer Trends Director, Leo Burnett India.advertisementlast_img read more

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