Breaking Rules, Gaining Grounds
In India, till about a few decades ago, working women were a revolutionary class by themselves. Receiving college education was itself a privilege, no matter if it was more of a prerequisite for getting them married. Thankfully, times have witnessed a huge change and today, women are not only charting new routes for themselves but are making a mark wherever they venture into. For the woman of today, the sky is the limit. She is fast breaking the mould, defying age-old conventions and exploring her potential in every way she can!!
Earlier, home was considered to be the womanly sphere, around which her life was centered. On the other hand, men alone were looked upon as breadwinners for the family. This division consequently formed expectations for both men and women in society and occupations. These expectations in turn gave rise to gender stereotypes that play a role in the formation of sexism in the work place, i.e., occupational sexism. In more recent times, the role of women were limited to a few handful of professions, such as kindergarten teachers, secretaries and administrative assistants, vocational nurses, child care workers, hairstylists and cosmologists, receptionists and information clerks. However, in due course of time, studies and statistics show that while women have historically been most concentrated in service jobs such as those in the fields of education, social work, and customer service, more women these days are going into professional occupations and management positions.
Not just globally, but in India itself, women are taking huge educational strides and vying for lucrative careers which, not very many years ago, were considered to be the monopoly of men-folk. If we look at the women-men ratio industry-wise, banking, insurance and pharmaceutical sectors usually have a pretty high ratio. In the IT services sector too, there has been a rapid increase in the number of women over the last few years. Some leaps which women have taken are mentioned below:
• Women are now actively involved into professions that were labeled as forbidden domain for them, such as business analysts that help organizations allocate their financial resources, taking into account their current transactions as well as prospective investments in the future.
• As human resources manager, they hire the most qualified employees and place them in departments for which they are best suited.
• Women are naturally believed to have a flair for languages and literature, and they are exploiting their literary aptitude to the fullest as business/technical/medical writers, web content developers, manuscript translators, magazine editors, copywriters, speech writers and corporate communication professionals.
• A large flock of women are making their foray into the field of Media and Communication, which accounts for the growing number of women journalists, reporters, columnists and the like. It is one of the most sought-after professions for women who are living up to the challenge and making it big.
• “It takes a woman to transform a house into a home.” No wonder, women have an upper hand when it comes to interior designing. They are beautifully translating their ideas and insights of the perfect home and raking in the moolah.
• Women are creativity, intelligence and communication, all wrapped into one. And what better field than that of advertising to showcase her skills!! It not only holds bright prospects, but is financially a promising career as well.
• Computerization has permeated every operational area of work, and women are dynamically making use of it as software programmers, website designers, IT analysts and Database administrators.
• Staying true to their traditional jobs as educators, the new-age women have taken it a step forward as educational administrators. With their instructional leadership, they enable an educational institution to run smoothly. Most schools, colleges and universities have women administrators to supervise and scrutinize their regular operations.
• Women, being naturally blessed with an Emotional/Spiritual Quotient higher than men, are also rapidly establishing themselves as corporate trainers. They are not only believed to handle workplace stress better, but they also possess the ability to help hard-core professionals improve their “soft skills.”
Thus, women are no longer tied down solely by their traditional roles; rather, they are rewriting the rules and redefining their position in modern Indian society. With their growing contribution in all diverse directions, India is sure to wake up to a brighter tomorrow.