Corporate Culture, Women Empowerment – Are we on the right path?
Let’s face it, Let’s talk about the Gender gap in corporate giants!
One reality that is omnipresent yet negated by most of us is the existence of patriarchy and its manifestation in myriad forms. The most widespread and pronounced of these manifestations is gender based inequality and discrimination. No matter how much we deny, this is a bitter truth that governs our lives. Its embrace covers even the corporate world. Though this is a sphere that boasts of placing merit and hard work at the highest pedestal, gender disparity is deeply embedded here too.
Don’t believe me? You are a person who gives the-world-has-moved-on this-is-the-21st-century argument every time somebody mentions gender inequality? Scroll down and shed your misconceptions!
Differential treatment since birth
It is rightly said that the development of a person starts from his/her birth. This ‘/’ between his and her has very critical implications. Look beyond the privileged existence you have. You’ll find girls being given less food than boys in the same household. You’ll find education being far from universally accessed. You’ll see the difference between privilege and deprivation in the same family. The corporate world loses many potential stalwarts right at this stage.
Let’s imagine a better situation. Girls are given basic education. Say they attain a degree too. But, is that enough to survive and thrive in the competitive corporate world? What about those extra additions to the CV that is needed to stand out in a crowd? What about the self confidence and entrepreneurial experience one needs to sustain in the corporate world? What about those internships that enhance not just the CV but also boost learning? Do our girls really get the same opportunities as our boys? Or are they restricted to classroom learning because venturing out to work is ‘too modern’?
High dropout rate among females
They say simple things add up to make a big difference. Consider this- a large percentage of schools in our country do not have proper, usable toilets for girls. This leads to school dropouts. If one doesn’t have access to a basic human need, do you expect her to concentrate on a sphere as huge as education? Assuming that there is a level playing field just because there as schools for girls is too far-fetched, isn’t it? Let’s not forget- these small things add up to be defining factors in the way our society functions.
Unsafe work environment
The corporate world is not bereft of people who have regressive, chauvinistic minds that can’t tolerate females working at par with them. There are some who can’t see beyond gender lines. There are some whose fragile egos are broken into pieces the moment they see a women at the helm. Look around. Look within. You’ll find enough examples. These are people who try with all their might to create a hostile environment for females. And the bad news is that they have succeeded. They are succeeding every day, every moment a woman has to think of a thousand non-work-related factors before stepping out into the corporate world.
Lack of work-life balance
The corporate world is known to be active 24*7. There are meetings and targets to be achieved the whole day and then there are networking dinners and official parties that we proudly call the ‘corporate culture’. To cut a long story short, women are put at a disadvantage by the very ‘culture’ that calls itself gender-neutral. Look at the maternity leave systems of these big corporate houses and you’ll understand for yourself. Find out how many corporate offices have crèches. For the ones that do, observe how many times you’ve seen a father carry his child to work and compare it with mothers who are expected to be do the balancing act perfectly. You’ll find the answers as to why the-21st-century-is-far-from-being-progressive.
Staff writer Pursuing Political Science Honours at Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi. Enjoy observing, exploring, and engaging. Love to think, write, discuss, and debate. Inspired by people, books, movies, songs, theories, and thoughts. Passionate about writing on issues of social, political, and environmental relevance.