Various studies, numerous researches and several surveys over decades have concluded that gender discrimination exists at work places.
In 1986, the Wall Street Journal’s Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt said that even those few women who rose steadily through the ranks eventually crashed into an invisible barrier. They named it a glass ceiling, which denied access to top positions to women.
In 1968, Philip Goldberg did a study where student participants evaluated identical essays except for the attached male or female name. The students did not know that other students had received identical essays ascribed to a writer of the other sex.
The study demonstrated that women received lower grades unless the topic was feminine one. The Goldberg paradigm holds good even now when female authors use masculine names like J.K. Rowling or E.L. James. I am not implying that they are read because of their names but I am surely implying that these women were not sure of their success with feminine names.
In 2007, Alice H. Eagly from Northwestern University and Linda L. Carli from Wellasley College likened the journey of women leaders to a labyrinth. As labyrinth is complex, but it is possible to strive and reach the centre, similarly women who aspire for top can reach after crossing twists and turns on the way.
When I see a Shikha Sharma or a Sheryl Sandberg, I don’t wish to believe in any ceiling or labyrinth. But all my confidence topples when I watch this video of acid attack victims. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D8duxKFVig)
I keep sitting, brooding, crying for a few minutes after watching it. Then, I clench my fists, wipe my tears, nod and smile sternly. Women bounce back with fierce resolve. Women face it all but don’t give up.
Call us emotional or erratic (Thank You President Richard Nixon), give us less wages, delayed promotions or throw acid on us, we will lead ourselves.
We might be branded as too ambitious or too lenient, we will keep striving to figure out our authenticity.
Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go & Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.
Also read her best articles here!