“Tradition becomes our security,and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”Jiddu Krishnamurti
Earlier this year in May, the Economic Times Magazine section featured an article on how more and more women taking up jobs in sectors considered male strongholds in India.. And it had a quote attributed to me-amongst some outstanding examples of few women who have been breaking the glass ceiling & some of the challenges that they have faced.
As a person who has now been in the industry for over 30yrs ,& fortunate to have had a ringside view of the changing economies, I personally feel that most of the issues raised-are perhaps going to be moot points/redundant- as we are often prone to forgetting the context and are quick to generalize the sterotypes!
In the next 5-6yrs, I will be really surprised if women are not increasingly taking leadership roles. Merit really cannot be ignored -in these days of analytics & increased metrics :)!
Here are my thoughts-on a few things trending in parallel:
-Change in the power of choice- from the employer to the employee: The industrial economy -had given way to the intellectual economy (the 90s saw the emergence of the IT/ITES & the services economy), and is perhaps being overtaken by the interconnected economy (thanks to internet, globalisation etc). Already we see lesser mortality of companies /employers -and employees having to take charge of their own careers and the onus there of.
The nature of jobs itself has changed, and many new roles have emerged in the past decade. Sunrise industries have been employing folks who have transplantable skills, so, the tenure is no longer as importance as competency, or the ability to manage change. No longer is quantity of years of experience as relevant or critical...as the quality of the experience. Hence I feel seniority is passé'. And as a result if promotions were earlier given to those who lasted longer in the system, it is the meritorious that make it thru the glass ceiling
The generation that has entered the work force in India post liberalization-has seen large scale employment in the services-and the financial gain (& independence) has made the society appreciate the double income family, and accept it. And there are enough role models of well educated and financially sufficient women pursuing professional careers and high level positions, putting personal /work life balance on lesser priority.
Especially so-in the war for talent, companies are increasingly conscious of the gender diversity (out of necessity and not merely giving lip service), and are able to find enough talent pipeline of potential leaders by encouraging flexible work schedules, improved parental leave policies, and opportunities for women to rejoin the workplace after short interruptions.
Anyway with increasing use of technologies...the delta growth/ dependence of the male bastions -that perhaps emphasis on brute power (manufacturing, engineering hardware, telecom) is likely to be tapering off.
With more women at all levels -and even if organizations continue to have pyramidical structures, they have a great pipeline of gender diversity for posterity! And in the increasingly trend of career ladders giving way to lattices (with matrix organization and remote location employees), there would be no glass ceilings in future!!
And yes, isn't it time we stopped going ga-ga over one day dedicated to Mother's day? Ironical though the above article did coincide so!
Would love your thoughts.