Senior Manager - Total Quality Management, Idea Cellular
Shalini has above 13 years of experience and has worked with Newgen Software Technologies, M&... more>>
As life turned mechanical and demanding, hardly leaving any slots to pursue personal endeavors, proportion of the women breaking the shackles of “homemaker” and those stepping outside the traditional roles accentuated. Today we have reached a modern era of “Renaissance” where the quintessential women have stretched beyond horizon where sky is the limit. More and more women are starting to challenge taboos and find success in roles traditionally held by men.
As aptly said it’s all in the mind..so why keep confined to the four walls and that’s what it is - Tranquil and calm she keeps forging ahead holding the key of perseverance.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it" - Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Talking of India, we live in a transitional age; transition from a feudal agricultural society to a modern industrial society. While we have embarked on this journey, we are still somewhere in between hence our society is still male dominated and women are still subjugated and most women do not have ‘real’ freedom. Challenging this status quo; our history talks of the likes of Razia Sultana, Rani of Jhansi, Sarojini Naidu and Indira Gandhi who are true motivation examples of women empowerment.
Study shows that IQ of an average woman is the same as that of an average man. Elizabeth I of England and Catherine the Great of Russia were great leaders. Madame Curie was the first person in the world to win two Nobel Prizes, in Physics and in Chemistry. Hence, it is not due to any inherent inferiority but due to the fact that women were not given education and other opportunities that they could not often come up to the level of men in the past.
Women in India have become aware that the business world no longer belongs to men. In the late eighties, women started entering corporate management and have continued to increase their participation through the years. More and more women are breaking the barrier of “men only” jobs and entering into various industries with full force. We can see a foray of woman entering in male dominated areas like IT, sports, athletics, politics, armed forces, navy, air force, police, as authors, media and entertainment, at gas stations, flying planes, going in space, scaling up mountains, driving taxis, starting their own business ventures, which predominantly have been male territories.
"The triumph cant be had without the struggle and I know what the struggle is. I have spent a lifetime trying to share what it has meant to be a woman first in the world of sports so that other young women have the chance to reach their dreams." - Wilma Rudolph
International Business Report (IBR) of business consultancy organization Grant Thornton reveals that the proportion of Indian women occupying senior positions in businesses has catapulted from 9% in 2011 to 14% in 2012. More importantly, the number of woman chief executives has jumped from 1% in 2011 to 10% in 2012, when globally the number rose from 8% to only 9%. Profiles such as chief operating officer, chief information officer or chief of human resource management too have been seeing women as heads.
Indian women managers are also showing an increasing interest in newer assignments and added responsibility areas, the study has shown. Interestingly 76% women accepted more responsibility or a different role to move their careers forward, against 54% men doing so, the study revealed. The study found that 78% women proactively manage their career against 69% in China, 58% in UK and 59% in the US.
Let me give you some names of “Women First” In India - Kiran Bedi, Ph.D, is Indias 1st and highest ranking woman police officer. Kalpana Chawla was the 1st Indian-born woman and the second Indian person to fly in space. Muthamma Chonira is the first Indian woman to sit in civil services exam, to join IFS, to be a diplomat, to become the ambassador/High commissioner (She also to sue the Indian government for gender bias). Durba Banerjee, the 1st woman Airline Pilot, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, 1953 is the 1st Woman President of the United Nations General Assembly. Bachendri Pal, 1984, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest, Harita Kaur Deol becomes the first Indian woman pilot in the Indian Air Force (IAF), on a solo flight in 1994, Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha, popularly known as P. T. Usha is the 1st Indian woman to reach the final of an Olympic event. The list doesn’t end here.. these are the 1st but not the last. Needless to say women have proved their mettle in a world skewed in favor of men.
However, there is a flip side of the coin too. While we may boast about the changing times, the discrimination against women is deeply rooted in the fabric of our society that it needs a complete revolution to snip it from the grass root level. It has taken years of patience, perseverance and battling the minds of men which has led to this shift but the cultural shift is still amiss. Professional women still face multitude of challenges both within and outside of the professional environment be it with respect to the equality of treatment, opportunities of advancement, limitations on the type of jobs women can hold remain palpable difficulties. Sexism and preconceived notions about a womans place being in the home are still abound. Women get the attention when we go to a men’s arena, and that’s sad.
Women’s political participation remains at 19.1% globally. Without greater political power, women face great challenges in securing shifts in public policy that will enhance workplace rights and facilitate their professional empowerment.
I was going through "The Secrets” by Rhonda Byrne a few days ago that talks at length about the law of attraction and the conviction that thinking and acting positive exudes positive waves and energy in the universe that attract and earn all the positive returns. You’ve got to believe in your dreams and determination was the simplified crux that I was able to grasp.
Most of us don’t make history. If we’re lucky, we figure out how to be successful in whatever it is we’ve chosen to do with our lives. But it’s inspiring to reflect on the lives of those people who have broken down barriers and opened doors for others. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” - Ayn Rand
Another cracking dawn and the receding darkness gave way to the determined and steadily advancing streaks of illumination with a buzz of life. A tall silhouette moves along that stretch with a measured and poised gait and lo and behold she captures the universe. We are at a crescendo. It’s time women in this country realize that women in this country can do any job they want to".
As aptly quoted by Eleanor Roosevelt-Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So remove those ‘I want you to like me’ stickers from your forehead and, instead, place them where they truly will do the most good — on your mirror!
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” - Diane Mariechild
Meet selected women leaders in siliconindia community
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