Glass Ceiling Syndrome

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| |2012 | | |INSTITUTE OF COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT, TRIVANDRUM | | | | | |R. VISHNU LAL |

|[Glass ceiling syndrome (women empowerment) in industries] | |Having female representation on the board is not just the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense. It’s the responsibility of| |the society to ensure that women get equal chances along with men to achieve higher levels of corporate contentment. It is the need of | |the hour..!! |

A paper presentation

on

introduction

The census report of 2011 shows a remarkable increase of 0.75% in the female sex ratio as compared to 2001. This increase is a definite progressive indicator for the nation as a whole, since the increase in the number of women signifies the reduced devaluation of women. Women were hated once for the mere reason of their gender by this male dominated chauvinist society. Gone are those dark epoch of women where she was kept secluded behind purdahas and confined to the four walls of a room and now the future is certain for her. She can enjoy the fruits of education and can reach any heights in this so called egalitarian society. But for those who advocate it has much less to joy, since we have a poor representation of women in the corporate board rooms or the decision making hubs.

From our childhood days, we have heard that God made a man first as a sketch, a rehearsal, and a woman was his perfection. She is blessed with ample qualities; her character is a collection of virtues, so considerate, so selfless, faithful, self-sacrificing etc., finds it extremely challenging to climb the corporate ladder beyond a particular level due to reasons more than one. As it was rightly coined, women face an imaginary glass ceiling which curtails her growth only up to a mediocre level. Who kicks down the ladder for her remains as an uncharted area of research and seeks immediate attention of prudent thinkers. On a grass root analysis, it is interesting to know about the workforce gender diversity in India, as in rural India, agricultural and allied sectors employ as much as 89.5% females of the total labour. Some industries like the software and outsourcing also employ a lot of women. So it is quite understandable that women are required to keep the ball rolling, yet not represented in the decision making hubs. It is downright shameful on us to know the stats in India that, at present out of 1,112 directorships of 100 companies listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange only 59 positions are held by women. Women contribute to only 5.3% of directorship and more than 70% of Indian companies don’t have female voices in their board which pinpoints to nothing but the helplessness of women to break the glass ceiling. Where do Indian women lose out, do they have handicaps? It deserves a real introspection. We are desperately in need of a glass hammer.

As we live in a consumer era where neither government nor industry, but the expenditure and savings of household drive the economy, where women also significantly contribute to the savings, this topic assumes added significance. When gender equality is being debated for so long, nothing substantial has been done so far to lend a helping hand for her to attain corporate contentment. The noble aim of equality comes into play only when both the sexes are able to share equally in the distribution of power and influence; have equal opportunities for financial independence through work or through...
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