I was filling an application form and was surprised to find a glaring oversight in the personal data column. They have asked for the father’s, brother’s, sister’s, husband’s and children’s name but not the mother’s! This is strange indeed and when I mentioned this to a personnel manager friend, he had no answer for this except that the format of the application was formalized many years ago when mothers were just housewives. With due regard to the friend, I refrained from exploding on this explanation.
To begin with I wonder why prospective employers want to know husband’s / father’s name! How come they are not interested in mother’s / wife’s name? The forms are designed to suit archaic principles and no one seems to have thought of changing them. How can a personal data be complete without information of the mother?
Logically there should be a column devoted to details about the mother like her educational qualification, her occupation and her age. All this have a direct bearing on the character of the candidate, more than details about the father! It is the mother who has a sustaining influence on an individual from ‘the womb to the tomb’ and what she is like, can throw very valuable light on the child.
Educated mothers are able to guide their children better. They can understand the needs related to academics or extra-curricular activities. They are able to fill in as sounding board and offer viable solutions to the problem of the child. With their own outlook broadened, they are able to inculcate the same in the child. Their own exposure to various avenues of knowledge will make them better mentors. How can any potential employer ignore the mother’s influence?
It’s good to know whether the mother of the candidate is a working woman or a housewife. Of course, one can be accused of generalizing but there are some broad indications that an employer can rely on! For example, the working woman’s son would probably be more independent and able to fend for himself as far as creature comforts are concerned. He would also be more adjusting. He could also be a loner! The housewife’s son would possibly be an extrovert – more confident and a little spoilt! Such indications could help the employer in assessing the employee’s ability to fit into the organization.
Some companies make home study to gauge the environment and lifestyle of the candidate. They should make it a point to have lengthy discussions with the mother for they would have better chances of knowing the candidate. What a pity that these things are left to women to point out. Are men shying from admitting the influence of this person? Or are they obtuse? Whatever the reason, they had better rectify the flaw and who knows – the employee turnover may be minimized!