Breaking the Glass Ceiling

The term glass ceiling was first popularized in the 1980s to de-scribe the challenges women face when their careers stagnate at middle-management roles, preventing them from attaining higher leadership or executive roles. Many women in the workplace face instances of gender bias along the way.

In one of McKinsey's podcasts about Future of America, the CEO of 'Women Who Code', Reshma Saujani says she was moved to establish all-women-coder firm when she saw long endless queues of men wanting to be the next Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, and she asked herself, "Where are the girls?"

Its a serious question. Why are the women absent from such role model posters? Women have been controversially denied leadership roles or often been overlooks for several reasons in the past, and we do have some popular examples to introspect.

Despite this added stress and exhaustion, women are rising to the moment as stronger leaders and taking on the extra work that comes with this: compared with men at the same level, women are doing more to support their teams and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Yet, sadly, these efforts go unnoticed at organizational levels. To add to the dilemma, 'childcare' has become one of the major reasons many women drop out of the workforce. While studies have shown women are still the primary caregiver for children, despite working more than ever, parental leave policies should be gender-neutral. The definition of family has evolved ­ and companies are starting to be cognizant of it.

Startups and large organizations alike have taken the initiatives to bridge the gender ratio, ensure safety for women, especially during the night shifts, and increased maternity leaves for new & adoptive mothers. There are some innovative strategies too. One startup has reserved and built a special childcare chamber in the office for women who prefer getting their tasks done from office. The chamber is well lit with toys and baby proofing. A thing not too common in Indian organizations. Its along way to go, and we're just waking up to the cause.

Do let us know what you think.