Not too long ago, Women had to find a job that fitted in with their given life patterns rather than choose a vocation which itself defines their life-graph as in the case of men. A woman`s success was judged by a different yardstick altogether. Has she performed her various roles well? Is she a good daughter? An efficient wife, and a loving mother? Does she manage her house and look after her family well?
Is she always available when her family needs her? Over and above these, has she the right attitude to earning and self-reliance? Does she hand over her earnings to the family kitty without caring about her personal security? Does she carry the role of culture-bearer and religion teacher to her family? Has she, carrying all this baggage, achieved success in her career?
Then alone is her triumph truly valued by society. A fractured family, a broken marriage or unhappy motherhood devalues a woman`s performance, whereas a man`s professional excellence remains undiluted by any of these.
The gist of these statements perhaps constituted the glass ceiling in every workingwoman`s
life. She had to tailor her vocation and success to the life which culture and tradition bestowed upon her.
Now, Globalization has opened the eyes of the society. Things are changing. Today, women are willing to make personal sacrifices for the sake of their careers. They are confident and economically independent. For the married woman, the changing work environment helps her to effectively balance her work and personal life.
Women can definitely multi-task much better than men. They are more sincere, creative, responsible and hard working. They are technically strong too. Women express themselves better than their male counterparts and this helps them to interact with customers better. They are excellent team players.
The corporate environment is also becoming more women friendly. HR policies are changing and many companies have introduced work from home, and flexi-time policies. Option to relocate with the spouse is also being allowed.
Growing awareness and acknowledgment of women achievers
Women are becoming ever more noticeable in the domestic and international front in media, entertainment, business, IT, politics and literature. Whether it is a women specific media house - Kali for Women or the Electrolux FE Awards for businesswomen, there is growing acknowledgment of female go-getters and the surfacing of powerful Indian women.
Whether it is Barkha Dutt, who has become an inspiration for prospective journalists, Arundhati Roy, a Booker Prize Winner and a social worker, or Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, who became the wealthiest Indian woman after the first public submission of her company, Biocon , they have all heralded the influx of Indian women professionals.
Indian Women in Information Technology
An article once described IT profession as a compulsive, theoretical, and introvert activity inappropriate for women. However, many Indian women have established this theory incorrect. Around one third of work forces at Indian software firms in contemporary scenario are women. As per NASSCOM the women workforce is around 38% in IT companies, which is relatively a higher estimate than their western counterparts. Indian education system can be one of the reasons that made IT sector appealing for Indian women.
Earlier engineering subject was considered as the domain of the males. Even engineering colleges, civil and mechanical engineering were regarded as inappropriate for the Indian middle class girl. It was witnessed that girls opted for Electronics Communication and Computer Science resulting in more women graduating in these subjects. In order to acquire extra expertise some women opted for computer courses after they successfully completed their graduation. It was later when the Indian women realized their efficiency in the sector and went on to chase their subject of interest as a full time career.
Ever since the requirements for technical experts increased in IT sector, women are now seen as tough contenders to men in terms of both experience and ability. Many of them also work in international scenario expanding their visibility to the companies recruiting them for their dexterity and proficiency.
Indian Women Authors
Indian women are also making their presence felt in the field of literature. The establishment of Indian offices by foreign publishing houses has offered many Indian women authors a breakthrough to exhibit their knowledge to the world.
Previously there was handful of women writers, but now worldwide acknowledgment has arrived in the form of the Booker Prize for Arundhati Roy, the Onassis International Competition Award to Manjula Padmanabhan, and the Pulitzer Award to Jhumpa Lahiri.
Indian women are writing beyond the home stories. Revolutionary themes such as sexuality, child abuse and domestic violence are now been dealt with, in a sensitive manner. The language used is not a synthetic and artificial adaptation of British English, but a natural version of how it is used in India. Intermingled with local vocabulary the language provides genuineness and essence to the writing.
Indian women in corporate world
The expanding of the Indian economy, the amplified functions of the private sector and the boost in the number of multinationals coming up has assisted a slow but steady increase in the number of women executives and entrepreneurs in the corporate industry.
Few such examples are, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw whose biotech firm is valued at over $1.1 billion, with her share at $449 million. Vidya Mohan Chhabria, president of the Jumbo Group worth $2 billion, and Naina Lal Kidwai, vice president and managing director of HSBC Securities and Capital markets. Vidya Mohan Chhabria and Naina Lal Kidwai are the two Indian women who were listed by Fortune magazine among the 50 most influential women in global business. Many others like Sulaijja Firodia Motwani and Mallika Srinivasan also significantly in the automotive industry while there are also many other corporate women who are administering their family businesses with complete ease.
In India, we still notice very few women at the top positions as many of them have selected parallel career options to concentrate equally on their domestic front. Indian MNCs still have to plan women oriented proposals designed especially for working mothers and institutional assistance.
With the surfacing of Indias service industry such as travel, tourism, hospitality, media, and entertainment, business process outsourcing and IT, we have seen the improved roles of female employees at both the entry and middle levels. This way they are expected to pave the way for prospective female professionals in the future.
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