Gone are the days when women were considered no match for the powerful men in this world!
How true is the above statement?
This statement is partially true; there are only some women who have reached the top most jobs in corporate India and some who have also become successful entrepreneurs. And as for the rest, old habits die hard, and the world is not yet ready to accept that women are equal( if not superior) to men in intelligence quotient, hard work, leadership skills, decision making, and team work.
The modern woman has overcome the various hurdles and excelled in all spheres which have hitherto been the domain of men. She has displayed an enormous passion and zeal and has successfully reached the top echelons of the corporate world.
The road to success for women is long and is certainly not smooth. Women are constantly judged, analyzed, evaluated and they need to constantly prove that they are as capable if not more capable than the men with whom they work. Their decisions are scrutinized microscopically and even the tiniest of errors are highlighted and ridiculed. However, men with fewer traits of leadership and IQ are known to have climbed the ladder swiftly.
In fact, at times, women themselves have had to refuse jobs that involve extensive travel, physical exertion, etc due to family constraints. Many companies have a rigorous interview process where female candidates are probed about their plans of marriage or starting a family. It’s usually expected of women to make the sacrifice of quitting a job by putting the family first if the need be. So a man is considered selfless and the one who puts work first; hence he is seen as a person worthy of promotion or a job. Women are also measured using the same yardstick, and more often than not, denied promotion, and relegated to less responsible jobs.
Furthermore, sexual harassment which is often lightly dismissed as “harmless flirting’ is also found in workplaces, thereby acting as yet another major obstacle for women. Unless women shed their inhibitions and stand up to themselves, these instances may well remain unchecked.
On the contrary, one can’t deny that things are changing, gradually and slowly, if not instantly. A certain percentage of men at the workplace have also changed and have learnt to work with women colleagues. They have started accepting women as managers, without being patronizing or hostile.
To be able to achieve equality at the workplace, organizational policies need to focus on creating practices and processes where women are encouraged to be leaders in their own right and not be compared with men and their behaviour and traits. Gender bias has to be removed and women need to be recognized for their skills and talents. They should be allowed to have work arrangements that will fit their lives and also the organizations requirements. A compatible, conducive, secure space needs to be created where women can learn, experiment, and grow into leaders.
Women too need to shed their inhibitions and be proactive in their roles. They need to become assertive and decisive and learn not to be apologetic about being ambitious.
A societal system which recognizes and respects a woman can go a long way in the making of many more Indira Nooyis, Kiran Majumdar Shahs, and the likes.
This blog is based on articles from the following sources: