Purpose: The study aims to establish the effect of personal resourcefulness and marital adjustment on job satisfaction and life satisfaction of working women in India. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 300 women are studied - 100 each in the working women, home-based working women, and homemakers categories - using the following scales: socio economic status scale, general health questionnaire, self-esteem inventory, life satisfaction scale, perceived stress scale, marital adjustment scale, the self-control schedule, and job satisfaction questionnaire. Findings: It is found that the home-based working women are the least stressed, most well adjusted, and the most satisfied with their careers among the groups studied. Their ways of perceiving and handling stress are found to be more effective than those used by women in the other two groups. Practical implications: The study implicates women friendly work policies - like flexible job hours and home office - as well as a cooperative home environment and assistance for housework. Stress relief programmes, yoga and an overall change of attitude towards housework, female employees and sex roles are needed. Originality/value: The study shows that a positive attitude towards their work in the family and adoption of practical family-friendly policies by organizations is likely to enhance productivity for the female workforce. Various need-based interventions are suggested. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.