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Why are there fewer women in leadership positions in India?

The intent of this article is to strike gender neutrality by ensuring that we do not differentiate between leaders being men or women. Future has only leaders irrespective of gender bias and inequality.

Our Indian societies have seen a massive transition over females being part of education systems to working and to becoming leaders. We have seen that people have become all the more sensitive towards having a girl child and their education. Paternal support is also evident through their jobs and careers as well. But then What happens beyond this point? We see women being part of the workforce in equal numbers but then Why are there fewer women in leadership positions in india? BULB ON?

I see 2 reasons here – Household Responsibilities and Corporate Perceptions.

  1. Household Responsibilities – In India, Household chores are still being considered as the prime role and responsibility of the women of the house. We haven’t got a gender neutral viewpoint here. Our households still hold this perception that it is women’s prime role to take care of the kitchen, kids and elderly. So despite working outside homes and pursuing careers, women are solely managing the households as well. Irony here is the men too belong to the same household and proudly own their prodgies and parents but are too tired to contribute to the responsibilities and by chance they do, it comes as a guilt or favour on women of the household. There is a popular saying – “Behind every successful Man, there is a woman”. Everything starts at home. Behind every successful woman today it is her rebellious streak. However, it would have been good if there is a supportive family who accepts her career and passions without being judgemental, shares her workload and pushes her to go beyond her limits without fear of guilt and need for validation and approval. 

Are we seriously giving that kind of unconditional support to our women who have the potential and capacity to prove their worth? Women today are continually hitting and breaking some glass ceilings everyday but at the same time they are fighting inside and outside to break through their careers as well. Irony isn’t it? I want you to ponder over why the support that comes naturally to men isn’t naturally being extended to women of the house??? WHY?

  1. Corporate Perceptions – Then comes the second level of this battle-field, fighting the perspectives of the corporate irrespective of the fact that they are Indian business houses or MNC”s. Both carry the same level of judgements and biases which are being carried by society and households. Women today too go through the same age old questions: 

👉🏻What if you get married and leave the organisation? – Here they would prefer hiring a man over a woman since corporations feel safe they will continue post marriage as well. But they do not have similar trust in a woman. Well much is a spillover from households.

👉🏻What if you go the family way? – Usual questions to a woman post marriage are related to years of married life and if they are having any plans to go the family way. Nothing of this sort is being asked of men for sure. Again a perspective spillover from households.

👉🏻She will never be committed to tasks as compared to men! Why? Well! Women will have time constraints and other sorts of limitations towards work. They are working just for the sake of working and aren’t allowed to have aspirations and desires of holding positions because then who will take care of the household chores. So being bound with this actually women are getting bogged down with this in mind and so less time and energy left to think about aspirations.

👉🏻Due to mounting inhuman expectations, women are losing out on their voice and identity leading to them withdrawing themselves from the labour force. Again adding to their stress levels and anxiety of giving up on their dreams.

It is time to overcome these gender steroetypes and empower women towards gender neutral society and households.

Kudos to your Idenity!

Love
Richa Chaturvedi

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