In recent times, the importance that is being accorded to the issue of career development has far surpassed all importance attached before. The phenomenal rise of women to top positions in the corporate world has proved that there is nothing that is impossible to achieve in life. But at the same time, the impediments and competition have increased manifold too. If one were to study and evaluate the career path of any woman holistically, different obstacles that stand in her way would come into sight clearly. While some of the hurdles and impediments faced are core to them specifically, some are also general in nature. The prime reason for such a social disposition has been the considered view, wrong though, that the society is required to be controlled and led by men.
This mind-set is yet to be knocked off completely as is evident from the fact that more often than not, women are allocated hum drum and unexciting jobs. Women are also generally kept out of the decision-making loop. Prejudicial and unfair by all standards, women do not become the focus of attention in the hiring processes of candidates, including interviews and tests for skills and abilities.
A number of basic professions like nursing, teaching and accounts are the domain of both men and women. However, the leading segment of males that is already into such jobs preclude the entry of women into their field of work. In recent times, more and more women have taken up these professions and possibly offset the hitherto fore male dominated statistics. But the inherent character of jobs in these fields is such that ascendancy takes a beating on account of an absence of ample space. Women tend to naturally subscribe to a viewpoint that they are at a higher pedestal in certain classic jobs both in terms of performance and efficiency. Research conducted have thrown light on the fact that the number of men who do so are relatively less. If viewed in the correct perspective, this trend could well be a type of a societal gender predisposition. This is largely on account of the fact that the advantages that men stand to have over women in assignments necessitating extensive movement or greater physical exertion.
The above notwithstanding, there is no discounting the truth that women of substance have outperformed, out-shined and outclassed their male counterparts in their own careers individually and unconventionally.
Specialists in human resources maintain that while promotions are generally based on the principle of average and usual progression, unfortunately, there appears to be a lack of suitably qualified and willing women to occupy senior posts in various organizations. This however, ought not to be any reason for disappointment or disenchantment for women. On the other hand, this should be viewed as a silver lining in the cloud to serve as an inspiration to toil and break the glass ceiling.
There are various other fields that are a matter of concern in so much as the career progression of women is concerned long maternity leaves are one of them. Many corporate bosses are disinclined to express opinion on this issue for evident reasons, however, they do talk of a relative absence of willingness and boldness amongst women to take steadfast decisions. They are also of the view that women are less liable to be enterprising enough to play with risks. Whether such an opinion is factual or illusory, the fact is that such an outlook is suggestive of preconception and bias; and therefore, by itself is a barrier to any woman’s career advancement. It is essential that physical and psycho-logical impediments that have been imposed on women are eliminated. And if that has to be made possible, there is a pressing necessity to alter male dispositions and outlooks in a big way. This alteration cannot be brought about immediately, but will result inevitably when over some span of time, women steadily and progressively climb the corporate ladder to reach top most positions.