Women are in a much better position than they were 50 years back. The journey has been an arduous one and fraught with challenges. However, the man-woman equality that she set out to achieve, especially in the professional world, still seems to be a mirage, if one probes the issue closely.
It is no secret that there are not enough women world over at the helm of a company. There are not many CEOs and even fewer COOs who are of the fairer sex. Setting modest goals for themselves, women have displayed a lack of ambition at the work place. It is the balance between home and work that she is seeking, sacrificing a lot in the process. It is as if she is less optimistic of her future, keeping her expectations low.
Furthermore, at the negotiating table, the women seem to be anything but powerful. Be it social conditioning that tells them to be ‘less demanding and more accommodating’ or ‘insecurity’, but it is often the men folk who get away with higher pay packets for the same amount of work. Sherryl Sandburg of Google herself admitted to being less aggressive than her male counter parts while negotiating with Marc Z. In general, women fear to ‘ask’. It also reveals their lack of confidence and they end up getting lesser salary and growth in the long run. The risk of losing the job, opportunity, or relationship weighs heavy on their mind and as a result women prefer to accept whatever is being offered to them, even though it may be less than what they really deserves. One would not find many men doing the same, be it their personal or professional space. In fact, the household chores and child care largely remain areas where men are not expected to be involved beyond a point. Juggling between home and work, the multi-tasking woman at the most complains to her friends about the not so co-operative husband at home, rarely demanding him to share the responsibilities equally. Absolute fairness not being on her agenda at all!
In addition to this, there are many women out there who are scared to show their domestic side to the world, which has pre-conceived notions of how a modern working woman ought to be. This way or that way, women have never really stopped bothering about other’s perception of who they are. Some working women secretly knit and embroider scared that they might be considered too domesticated for the real world outside. The dilemma is that although they are expected to take care of the home, they are not supposed to take more than necessary interest in the nitty-gritty’s of domestic life. Cooking is fine but trying a new recipe every other day would be taken as her being less inclined towards her career. However, the truth is that managing home requires a lot of intelligence and flexibility, which ultimately enhances a woman’s efficiency. An efficient house-keeper creates an environment of comfort and harmony for the family. The holistic health of family members is a result of careful cleaning, cooking, home and finance management. However, these things are hardly given the kind of importance that they deserve. The sad part is that women themselves do not realize the worth of their hard work and their contribution to their homes, workplace, and society.
Therefore, women like possessed soldiers must march on, dreaming and believing in their ability to attain their dreams. The destination is definitely not too far!