It’s a man’s world, and it is often sexist and unfair to criticize women leaders. Nowadays, women are conjuring up their career and struggling hard for their brighter tomorrow. Women lead in different ways and are increasingly moving towards the path of leadership. As it is said, it is not easy to be a women leader in today's world. Let’s see what challenges do women leaders face?
“This is a man's world
This is a man's world
But it wouldn't be anything
Nothing without a woman or a girl” - James Brown
Honestly, I am tired of unequal woman rights and feminism and the way women are treated at work. It’s the world where one of the worst things that one tells a “male” is not to act like a “woman”. I am proud of being a leader and I know how hard it is being a female working in a male dominant society. Female discrimination is not something that is just experienced by me, but I have some facts also that show this is a global phenomenon.
As of 2017 reports, there are 32 female CEOs on the list of Fortune 500, that means 6.4% of the U.S’s biggest companies are handled by women. And to a surprising number, this proportion of female CEOs is the highest in the 63-year history of Fortune 500.
Further, let’s talk about Silicon Valley where men dominate the workforce to a very large extent. There is an urgent need of improving gender equality at Silicon Valley. When talking on the topic of female discrimination, we can put out several other examples. But let me come back to the topic. We live in a world full of stereotypes and we all have to fit well in it. There are many women entrepreneurs in the world who are defying social expectations and fulfilling their dreams. Being a female, many things might have hindered their career in a way as I have been hindered and have been treated differently because of my gender. I have faced many challenges when handling teams at work and a few of them I am mentioning below.
Challenge #1: Harassment
In the U.S., 37% of women reported being harassed in the workplace ranked second highest among countries. In India, 53% of working women said they would likely speak out and report harassment. Women leaders have to face a lot of work issues like offensive comments, threats to sexual assaults and other sexual advantages. Women feel insecure in going to office under such circumstances. Negative consequences of such harassment are usually worse leading to a downfall in leadership.
Challenge #2: Choose family or work
Why do women have to choose between career or family? Women leaders find it difficult to decide whether to say “no” or “yes” to their family and work. Both choices are difficult and both of it requires sacrifice. Managing both things require strict decisions and taking the best step is important. Spending long hours in office results in having a difficulty in meeting the demands of society and family.Women often find it difficult to go to work when after having a baby. Thus, considering all the related matters, a woman has to be confident in doing both - being a mom and a women leader.
Challenge #3: Marketing problems
It is quite daunting for women to enter a field that has been dominated by males. When talking about marketing zones, it has been ruled by men for over many years. Therefore, women feel lagging behind in the marketing field. During marketing of their businesses, women have to outsource their tasks to capture big marketers that have to be given a big part of their profits. This hinders their success and makes them rely on someone for their growth.
Challenge #4: Less Mobility
Women mobility is highly held back due to lack of social norms. In some cities, it is quite difficult for women to pursue employment outside of the home. They have to work nearby their home and avoid work tour and travel. Distance remains a constraint for women throughout her life and that becomes a barrier for her in handling teams. And due to such reasons, women have to give up the idea of continuing to work as a leader.
Challenge #5: Credit Facilities
Not just at the office, but outside workplace also, women have to face challenges related to work. They are often denied credit by bankers because of lack of collateral security. Many women fail to take undertaking because of the complications associated with bank loans and delays in obtaining loans.
How many of you fabulous leading women out there feel the pressure of the above challenges? To all of you, be strong to overcome these challenges and don’t fail to lead because of these challenges. You are a leader and prove yourself. Be inspired by the powerful women entrepreneurs and don’t ever doubt your capabilities.
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July 26, 2017
July 26, 2017
Stories by Vartika Kashyap