Battle of sexes under the glass ceiling

Even as men and women match professional skills, the fairer sex has to grapple with unfair gender roles. Let’s explore.. .

Last year when Forbes released its annual list of the world’s most powerful women, only four Indian women made it to the top100.

According to a member of the BSE, only 4.9% women were on the boards of the over 4,000 companies listed. No surprise then, that industrialist Ness Wadia is said to have dumped Priety Zinta for being a tad too career-oriented!

As much as men and management would like us to believe that the glass ceiling is now a myth, it still prevails. Nirmala Menon, founder of Interweave, admitted at a recent CII conference; “Women on top are still rare. Globally, they comprise only 10% of senior managers in Fortune 500 companies. In India, women comprise only 3% of senior management.”

A senior woman manager says, “Very few men are willing to treat a woman as an equal. They are far too insecure and prefer to treat her as a child or a half brain. They will make statements like, ‘Just look at this once and I’ll finalise it. Why bother yourself?’ Thisc an be most irritating to an intelligent, thinking woman who, if not better, is definitely, his equal in intelligence.”

Agrees another senior executive, “When a man is decisive, he’s dynamic, but when a woman displays the same firmness, she’s difficult in the eyes of men.”
Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty from Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai, refers to a recent case study where a group of employees were debating about the new logo for their company.

When a woman suggested red, a colleague remarked that she was recommending it as it matched the colour of her sari. All the men present laughed indulgently without realising it had a very sexist connotation. “Such a remark would never be made to a male colleague. This mindset reflects a cultural conditioning that will take centuries to be c o m p l e t e l y wiped out,” cites Dr Shetty.

Even as men and women work shoulder to shoulder, discrimination between the sexes exists. Radhika Roy (name changed on request), a pharmaceutical manager says, “I was denied a promotion last year, as the management assumed that I was 28 and would be married soon. Consequently, I wouldn’t be able to give the same amount of dedication or time to my work, it was perceive d . ”

Meera Sanyal, country executive, India, ABN-Amro Bank states, “A career woman is also someone’s wife, mother and daughter-in-law and thus has to deal with responsibilities. This gives rise to certain periods in life where she’s forced to make a choice between her career and home. It’s here that the organisati on can show solidarity.”

Chanda Kochhar, head of ICICI bank, however points out, “Women too shouldn’t expect any special advantages or favours.” Another mid-level HR manager Rinita Sen (name changed on request) points to sexual politics.

“My supervisor, a married, middle-aged man was making sexual advances towards me. Things reached a head when he started touching my hands etc. I complained to my super boss. The issue became a major furore. I was asked whether I had responded to his proposals. Humiliated, I quit.”

Women still have to break stereotypical roles to succeed. Tarjani Vakil,India’s first woman CEO in the financial sector attributes this, “largely to the male chauvinistic attitude.

Even during the US presidential elections, Hillary Clinton couldn’t break the glass ceiling.” Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairmanand MD, Biocon Limited, confessesthat when she started out in 1978, “women were considered ‘high risk’ in the business world.”

However, she believes, “The picture is positive now with more Indian women making a mark in diverse fields from banking, biotechnology to politics.” So, here’s hoping Priety can keep her chin up and just pick up a glass hammer.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sami
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 03:39:03

    Tragedy these days… good gals are getting divorecd and sl*ts are having fun!

    1) Lars

    2) Marc Robinson 2 year live in relationship is known

    3) Yuvraj Singh – In no Western culture also you sleep around and then say he is brother…!

    4) Brett Lee

    5) Vikram Chatwal

    6) Ness Wadia

    Preity is still not able to figure out how he slipped away from her trap that she had so neatly woven. She had managed to impress on him that she was a really national star..bigger than anyone around.. How ?? – simple, hire a few cameramen on her payroll who will follow Ness wadia and her, click every move and quickly upload them on the internet and then refute it, crib that media is harassing…and slowly slowly work on his mind and everybody else’s mind when all they have done is a few public appearances and then have her publicists write “oh they are a couple, they shud get married…”!. Wonder ki ismein se Bunty bach kaisa gaya? She will try her net in IPL4 – poor boy needs to be warned !

    7) Saif and Preity



    • Being an Indian Woman
      Sep 23, 2010 @ 10:29:36


      Thanks for the post. I am really impressed with you!! You have got such insight into Preity Zinta’s life and her brothers/ex bfs, etc.. Awesome!! I am highly impressed with your views/verdict regarding her relationship with Ness. Do you have psychic powers? That way you would not have had any problem whatsoever in your personal life.. isn’t it??

      Please don’t mind my saying this but do you such insight about yourself and your sisters also?

      I take offense for the word slut that you have used here as it is nothing but plain derogatory. What a woman does is her personal life and none whosoever has any right to judge her for that. And if you are known to her personally, which reading your post sounds highly unlikely, you should have addressed this crap with her directly. Its a big problem with Indian men — they can’t stand a woman who can stand for herself. She has a life and she has made her choice. It is never easy for a woman to make a choice in life and once she does, none but herself has any right to question it.

      Hope this helps and you become more open about your outlook to life than blaming a woman for her choices. Next time try using this crap system on judging your own life or men like Yuvraj Singh, Kabir Bedi and Vikram Chatwal for once.

      Take care.


  2. sami
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 03:40:06



    • Being an Indian Woman
      Sep 23, 2010 @ 10:31:30

      Am quite confused in what you are trying on both your comments. Male-female ego is a subject which touches most relationships especially when the female is strong enough to stand for herself. I would suggest that you just missed the point I was trying to get across.
      Thks for writing.


  3. m s dinakar
    Oct 07, 2010 @ 13:30:40

    I reckon the women about whom you have written are educated enough to take care of themselves in a corporate world … let them fight for their rights as they deem fit … but majority of women – who are outside the corporate world – hardly have any opportunity to showcase their creativity … many have a hard time even to subsist … but the media focus is skewed … eom.


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