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Break the ceiling

Women finding an influential place for themselves at the top!

We keep talking of how women are now able to reach the top positions in the industries and how time is changing. While that is true, it is not to be denied that the journey for women to such positions are still extremely difficult and not all women with aspirations and ability can make it to the top. I personally would want to talk about some root causes to this concern before we talk about the issues at the Corporate. Society, homes or Corporate, there are people and more than anything else, there has to be a reason with people than the technicalities, material & other tangible factors.

Root Cause analysis – We need to start looking from our homes, families, and environment that we are brought up before we start talking of our work place, Corporates etc.

What I am going to say is neither to portray women as weak nor to upset the men who experience just the opposite from their partners J . This is not in that context nor do I claim 100% men/women as that.

We accept or not but we still are a part of the Patriarchal society where theoretically we may claim to give men & women a same status, same opportunities, same rights but when situation arises, the expectations to maintain harmony and peace at home is usually from women and hence she is mostly the one who is expected to compromise, succumb, have men to win the argument  etc etc. Women are considered the backbone of the family and hence the total burden of every part of the body lies on the backbone. As women, we tend to accept these as our imbibed values, responsibilities and it becomes our instinctive behavior. And so when we are out in the industry, we either behave the same way despite of carrying our aspirations deep in our hearts – working extremely hard and waiting for seniors to notice & award us the position that we aspire for OR try and play a different role which may create conflicts between our personalities at home & outside and it becomes a challenge to strike a balance. For those women who are able to carry the same strong personality, in most case can confirm affects on the relationships because of the same reasons which make men find it difficult to accept or manage this side of the women.

The same upbringing – though theoretically same but in a practical implementation having expectations from women, unknowingly build the egos of men & shape the way men expects from the other gender &  always have the priority. This impacts not just their personalities at home but everywhere. It becomes difficult for them to accept a women leadership and hence all politics happen. And that’s none of their fault completely to be honest but the way they are brought up.

Undoubtedly, there are women leaders who very appreciatively acknowledge the support, the encouragement and sacrifices of their spouses that made their journey to the top much easier. And hence, such examples supports the fact that for a women, in the current social environment, to make this journey successful, an environment & support primarily from their family is so much equally important than the support from their employers to feel well equipped and enabled emotionally, mentally & physically.

Coming to the Corporates/industries, other challenge that is seen is also that if a woman is successful to reach at the top, there are judgments made about probabilities of her having a bad marriage, bad relationships, her making illegitimate compromises to reach a point in career etc etc etc. Why is that? A successful man at the top leadership positions can have a happy marriage, good relationships and could earn it purely based on his caliber but a successful woman is judged to have only one successful side of her life at a time.

Managers avoid hiring women for the fears that they may leave or relocate after marriage or get pregnant or may have issues with timings at work etc. Wouldn’t they expect their working wives to be moving cities with them or get pregnant and have their families?? Who make women pregnant? And the same men, for their own working wives, would have different opinions & expectation s from their employers and still be least empathetic about other women working in their own teams. Unfortunately, even women managers are unconsciously biased against women.

All of this is the basic societal facts that create an environment which makes it so much more difficult for women to be a successful leader than men. To change this for our future generations to come, it is ultimate pivotal that we change the way we bring up our children – bring up individual kids (and not daughters or sons) with the same ideologies, principles, and values, even in practice and develop a society making it excellence based and not gender based.

It is important that we see individuals as individuals and not discriminate our beliefs based on their genders. I have personally experienced what it means to have the Trust beyond gender.

Apart from observations in the industries for quite a few women co-workers & acquaintances, I personally also have had some bitter experiences of being politically agonized by peers and seniors to break me during my journey, but I was also fortunate enough to have a manager in one of my previous organization who trusted me for who I was as an individual/professional, my skills, values & caliber. And that not only helped me push my own boundaries but also explore myself deeper as a professional. That’s what works and that’s what is needed.

Originally published on my LinkedIn account –


Published by Reetu Verma (

I am founder of my brand - Get Sorted™, a passionate life transformation Coach, Author & a Transformation Speaker with a pedigree of 23 years of accomplished career as a senior HR professional with companies like Prometric, Genpact Headstrong, Nortel Networks, SSP Worldwide, Xebia Architects & British Council. - Author of "Get Sorted" Your truth is what you want to see! Reality may be different. - Traveled around the world – United Kingdom, United States of America, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Europe (Switzerland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium), Dubai, Thailand, Bhutan - Impacted lives of 15000+ people across the globe I am passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives. Nothing satisfies more than to help someone find life in their life, a solution to their problem, clarity in their confusion, light in their darkness, hope in their despair and strength in their being.

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