Women in leadership has been an important part of every discussion in the contemporary world. It is even being mentioned by the United Nations as the part and parcel element in accomplishing the Sustainable Development Goals by the year 2030. The presence of Women leaders has been increasing gradually in Government and Private sectors throughout the world. However, in numerous sectors in the corporate world, especially in the technology sector, there is still a dearth of Women Leaders. Why is there a shortage of women in leadership positions?
Although, in the modern age so many Female leaders and influencers have been airing their thoughts to empower women in the best possible way to have them as prospective board members. But few factors are acting as the hindrances towards women who aspire to become great leaders. We have been listening to numerous thought provoking discussions in which prominent female leaders voice their opinions regarding women empowerment.
Some of the Famous women tech leaders like Sarah Wood, Non-Executive director at Signal AI shared- “ Women shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves forward ”. Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook also keeps voicing her thoughts by empowering women at the workplace. One of her famous quotes which I admire the most is- “ Leadership is not bullying and Leadership is not Aggression. Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good, that you can make the world a better place ”.
These awe-inspiring quotes motivate me the most. However, if we realize the moment of truth, did the corporate world live up to these insightful sayings? Did women get the chance to put themselves forward freely? Did the journey of women to climb-up the leadership peak be full of bullying or aggression? Why climbing up the leadership ladder is tough for women?
These questions are rumbling in the minds of so many females and there is a need for a proper answer.
The reasons for women not achieving the leadership ladder, not putting themselves freely are the Stereotypical mindset of society and Gender disparity. This means that the people (especially males) have the habit of suppressing the thoughts of the female and they tend to let them down. The other factors that include are Personal hurdles, Professional hurdles, Intrinsic hurdles, Lack of internal education among the male members of the society. These hurdles act as a stumbling block for the women. According to the IBM Reshape Tomorrow summit,2021, a meagre 10% (approx) of employees at managerial level are women in tech roles. The numbers are less because the women are trapped in the Vicious circle of Gender biases, surrounded by factors mentioned above instigating those biases and thwarting Women to achieve their leadership goals.
Although Women in few industries have been released from the vicious circle and playing a dominant role in the companies. However, there is a need to understand that the entire corporate world cannot survive without women. People are the blood of the organization that runs throughout the organization and helps to achieve growth. Women are also an important part of the word “ People ”.
The significance of women is important in every situation. For instance, when I was in college, there was a team building game in which there were two teams and the challenge was that two to three people ( must include boy & girl) from each team needed to simultaneously run and store the water from the sponge into the bucket in less time. The team which does this in less time will be declared as the winner. So our rival team had a strong male member who carried the girl on his back and did the task accurately, then came our team’s turn in which our team’s boys who seemed to be capable enough to lift a girl were not able to do that. Then one of my female friends and I together lifted a 70 kg boy and ran to our best potential to finish the task accurately and emerged as the winner.
The society, male members and the corporates need to understand the mighty powers of women. Especially in the corporates, the presence of women is essential to steer the strategies of the company towards the direction of growth & sustainability.
Now, all the women need to overcome their intrinsic hurdles and have courage to speak for themselves, put themselves forward and be empowered to voice their thoughts bravely to climb the leadership ladder. The companies also need to ensure that the journey of women to achieve leadership should be enriching and progressive, which excludes bullying, harassment, aggression and biases. The career trajectory of women should be filled with mentorship, training, respect and constructive atmosphere to learn new skills and technologies. A concerned investor knows that while investing in Mutual funds, the degree of Unsystematic & Market risks need to be taken into account, so he invests diligently and diversifies the portfolio in order to mitigate certain amounts of risks. In the same way, Organizations should meticulously strive to achieve Gender Diversity and fill the gap by hiring more females in the workforce and also including them in C-suites positions. There are several studies conducted, which highlights that the inclusiveness of Female CXOs in Banks have skyrocketed corporate performance and also enabled them to achieve the ESG goals. So the Organizations operating in different sectors should revamp the Diversity & Inclusiveness policy, they should ensure that females should be motivated to participate in conferences, voice their inputs and strategies in the threshold point of their leadership journey.
Companies should provide sabbaticals to aspiring Females who want to learn new skills and come back to the organizations so that they can bring more value to the boardroom roundtable.
These measures, when implemented by the corporates, will help females to be the great leaders at the workplace and companies can achieve the roadmap to sustainability by having more rooms for women leaders in order to make the corporate world a better place.