The numbers sure are intimidating. The corporate world has continually shown that there is a wide gap with regards to women in leadership. This, despite studies quoting that, breaking down gender barriers and including women in top leadership roles, are not merely altruistic for the company, but are also beneficial to society and the nation.
What the rule book says?
Through my early years, I have been hard-wired into believing that taking care of home is a girl’s first priority. I was never encouraged to have a strong ambition (though I do consider myself lucky that my parents ensured I received quality education). Nor was I pushed into playing rough and tumble sports. Yet at 20, I was better than most boys in my class, topping every subject in my stream. I was financially independent at the age of 25, and was ambitious to make it big in the corporate world.
Are societal conditions favorable?
But marriage and motherhood happened and what I did aspire to be, slowly took a back seat. This is probably the story of most young girls. There is no denying that societal conditions are not always favorable for women. There is an element of pressure to get married and start a family, giving just a small window of opportunity to establish oneself. She is loaded with domestic responsibilities, entrenched in patriarchy thus pushing career advancements to the back seat. Surely, embracing leadership roles becomes far-fetched. The ones, who do continue to dream big, often need to put up a tough fight, against the stereotypes cast upon them by society and, the guilt that results thereon- on neglecting the home front and the kids.
Must a woman aspire just marriage than being overly ambitious?
We seem to have a double sided issue at hand here. Where on one side, society’s rule book pins down the woman to the home front, on the other side, women themselves seem to be letting their aspirations be crushed by the stereotypes. What a women aspires is purely her choice. Thus, it is important for one to speak up and be resilient, moving past fears and embracing confidence. This is the first step to take in embodying the traits of a leader, and also the first step towards breaking down gender barriers.