How can women break the glass ceiling?

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:

http://www.indiatvnews.com/business/india/breaking-news-successful-female-entrepreneurs-india-3242.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/amyjadesimi/2016/08/08/female-leadership-the-glass-ceiling-is-cracked-not-broken/#c36

https://content.wisestep.com/women-in-the-workplace-top-issues-and-challenges/

https://hbr.org/2013/09/women-rising-the-unseen-barriers

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I am not a topper!So….

The results of the ICSE class X and ISC class XII examinations for 2017 were announced on Monday. A total of 1,75,299 candidates appeared for the ICSE examinations and 98.53% passed out. Of the 73,633 students who took the ISC examinations, 96.47 % passed.

Have we ever spared a thought to the remaining percentage of students who didn’t pass? What does the future hold in store for them in this marks and rank oriented system? Why have they failed? Whose fault is it?Are we even right in declaring them as failures?

Just before the examinations, we see harried parents coaxing, cajoling, and even bullying their children to burn the midnight oil. Comparisons between siblings, and the neighbour’s kids, start making their rounds. Internet connections and satellite TV connections are cancelled. “Visitors are not welcome” boards are all but displayed at homes! Doomsday predictions of the grim scenario that awaits failures are constantly made.

How do children respond and react to this pressure? Some children crumble under peer and parental pressure and the ever-increasing level of competition. They develop feelings of being useless and unworthy when they fail. Prior to examinations and after the results, we read reports of suicides among school going children.

These incidents are talked about in terms of statistics by the media and forgotten before another headline making story crops up!

There is an emphasis on rote and memorisation in our board exams. Unfortunately, aptitude, understanding, and year round assessments are not considered.Creativity is not recognized as a worthy trait because students are expected to write the answers verbatim from the text books. So what happens to the child who does not have this ability? Can he be dismissed as a failure?

The punishing schedule at school and home is enough to deflate any child’s confidence. The fear factor of examinations and lack of support and guidance are the primary reasons for the various stress and trauma related disorders found in children.Any cry for help by these children should be heard and addressed at once.

Schools and parents need to provide timely interventions and counselling sessions from experts to such students in order to comfort and imbibe confidence in them.Children need to be heard carefully and they need to be provided with solutions rather than just giving them advice!

 

Parents, schools, teachers, education boards, the government and all other stake holders including children should all put their heads and hearts into analyzing these issues and strive to bring back Joy into learning.

Maybe it’s time for parents to say, “It’s okay to be ordinary. It’s alright if you are not a topper. I love you”!

The blog is based onthe article in http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/icse-and-isc-2017-results-to-be-declared-on-monday/article18598249.ece

To gain more clarity in parenting/counselling talk to one of our counsellors at www.preranaacademy.com

Girl Child in Mother India!

Women’s Day and Mothers Day were celebrated on March 8th and May 14th respectively with the usual noise on social media.

Women’s day saw every forum worth its salt inviting women to deliver speeches, and seminars were conducted with lovely anchors raising clichéd questions; feminists were hailed and cheered; men too joined this celebration with abandon. All duly reported by the print and social media!

And then came along Mothers Day! We saw children gushing over their mothers, gifting them with cards, gifts of all kinds, hugs and kisses and going overboard with their display of love and affection. Of course, capturing it with a selfie stick to be posted on FB!

All fine! It’s indeed lovely to see mothers and women getting this attention and love from their children and society.

However, it’s only on Women’s day and Mothers Day that India wakes up to honour the women in the country. How are girls and women treated on the remaining 363 days?  The female foeticide and rape reveal a different story that unfolds in India day after day.

Not a day goes by without reports of barbaric and heinous crimes committed on women!

Experts believe that the skewed sex ratio is a major contributor for these acts. Sex ratio in India continues to worsen, and according to the latest figures, a steady decline is being seen from 909 in 2011, 898 in 2013 to 887 in 2014. According to a Pulitzer centre report, thousands of parents brazenly break laws and have their “to be daughters” aborted after an ultrasound scan has revealed the sex of the foetus. It is estimated that more than 10 million female foetuses may have been illegally aborted in India since 1990s, and 500,000 girls are lost annually due to female foeticide.

The increasing number of reported rapes exposes the dark underbelly that India has! At least one woman is raped once in four minutes in this country! Think of the unreported rapes!

There are many laws in our country which have been framed to prevent female infanticide and rape. However, only legal action cannot and will not stop these horrendous crimes. Mothers need to be made aware that sons are not superior to daughters; girls need to be made aware that they are not weak; and finally sons need to be made aware that girls are not a commodity meant for their use!

Parenting plays a crucial role in bringing about these changes. Parents knowingly or unknowingly instill gender bias in their children. Addressing these issues at the grass root level can indeed usher in a new India where women can walk the nights without pepper sprays and dressed in attires of their choice!

 

This blog is based on the data from: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/sex-ratio-worsens/1/823075.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_foeticide_in_India

To gain more clarity in parenting/counselling talk to one of our counsellors at www.preranaacademy.com