So Few Women Leaders. . .

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So Few Women Leaders. . .

SO FEW WOMEN LEADERSHello Athenas! I’m back, and this time, wish to discuss an issue which has been in my mind for a long time. By this, I mean almost a decade and a half. And the issue is this: since half of the world’s population is comprised of women, how come there are so few women in leadership roles in all walks of life?

Granted, women have come a long way since medieval times. This transformation started with the suffragette movement in Europe and North America more than a century ago. In those days, women did not even have the right to vote, leave alone having a say in public affairs. It was considered unladylike behavior for a woman to discuss politics and business. Things have changed now and women are making huge strides in all fields. BUT this development has NOT translated into leadership positions for women on a large scale.

Consider this. There are nearly 200 independent countries in the world out of which less than 20 are led by women. And can anyone tell me how many of the Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs? This state of affairs genuinely puzzles me. Every year, girls are topping Board / university examinations and competitive examinations more than the guys. So why aren’t we able to translate academic success into securing leading roles in the world of business, politics, scientific research, etc? It’s surely not due to lack of trying.

Nowadays, working women are no longer a rarity as they used to be in my grandmother’s generation (who retired as a government schoolteacher), but a woman’s income is still considered to be a secondary income in the family. Indian families are more forthcoming these days and allow their daughters to go to work, but when these working girls complain about gender discrimination, they are told to stop cribbing. They have a job after all, don’t they? And God forbid women should strive for leading roles! Most of the male workforce has ego issues when it comes to reporting to women bosses. And many women do not like to see their colleagues advance in their careers. For a woman, a career should always take second place to her family. No, don’t berate me yet. I know and understand the importance of family and family values, but why is it that it’s always a woman’s career which has to take a backseat once she becomes a wife and mother? Why can’t the men in the family make some adjustments and encourage their wives to follow their dreams? Unthinkable, isn’t it? THAT’S the reality, sisters.

If, in spite of all these obstacles, women somehow manage to get into top positions, they are categorized as arrogant, unapproachable, egotistical and power-hungry. Renowned investment guru and multi-billionaire Warren Buffett once said that one of the reasons for his success was that he was competing against only half the population. Magnanimous words indeed from the great man.

Women like Sarojini Naidu, Indira Gandhi, Suchitra Kripalani, Kiran Bedi Indira Nooyi, Margaret Thatcher and Sheryl Sandberg have made it into top positions not because they did not have any obstacles in their path, but in spite of them. These ladies are shining examples, but we need more like them in order to give the term EQUALITY true meaning.

So come on Athenas, let’s strive to become leaders in our chosen fields.

Diana

To read more on women leaders try Helen Keller – The one who paved the way to lightA tribute to the Iron LadyWhere is the time to breathe?

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13 Responses

  1. badrinath_t says:

    I feel women were designed by God to carry kids and so they should keep their homes as priority. Trying to make it to the top of your career ladder is good, but you should make sure that it doesnt happen at the cost of an ignored family.

  2. diana says:

    It takes two to tango. If God designed women to carry the kids, he also designed the men to SUPPORT their ladies. By support I am not just talking about the financial aspect but also standing by their ladies and encouraging them to follow their dreams. If this entiles sharing equal responsibility at home then I suggest that they man up and do the needful.

  3. Sylvia Christopher says:

    Each woman is given a gift, a talent by God. This should fully bloom in her life and spread the fragrance around, without forgetting what her duties as a woman.

  4. albert says:

    Diana,
    Agree whole heartedly but it should not be at the cost of the family.It will take a little more time to get the male to lend a hand with the family chores,when that happens women can concentrate on their profession The first step to avoid gender discrimination has to start with the woman(the mother) avoiding preferential treatment..

  5. sheela pakianathan says:

    Change begins at home, only when you and me stop gender discrimination and lend a hand to our girls can we have more leaders. Another prejudice that we need to break is that a good leader(female) is a dominating person.

  6. diana says:

    Yes, change begins at home. For generations women were not allowed to come out of the kitchen. Now we are showing the world that we are on par with men in every field. With a little cooperation and a little less prejudice, the tables can turn and we will have more women leaders…

  7. albert says:

    yes the day will come but in which century???? If you want it to change faster our mindset has to change and towards that we all have to strive to educate the coming generations, go to schools and colleges and teach/preach the need to change. I, a man, am not going to be the first to roll the ball – it has to be you – the discriminated gender, rise and shine, tell me what you did yesterday to bring about this change.I will join but only after you———–

  8. Aadhya says:

    @ albert – all men plume themselves on the improvement of the society and no man improves.
    :)
    When it comes to SHOWING OFF that you are a MAN to your fiends, guys are always ahead of one another in treating their wives, adughters and sisters worse than a slave but when it comes to bringing a positive change you need someone to hold your hand.

  9. badrinath_t says:

    Battle of the sexes, this conversation is getting really lively. Its you who is the sufferer so why shouldn’t you make a start.

  10. Albert Pakianathan says:

    Aadhya,
    Its not about plume, what I say is that every change has to begin at home, and at home the mother has an important role to play in shaping the mind of the future man i.e. her son, this is the bed of education and if she imbibes in him that he is more special than his sister, then of course when he grows up he will do the peacock dance.So come on mothers and would be mothers teach your children gender equality, you will be surprised if things change faster than you expect, catch them young – the adults are already stubborn in their thoughts.

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