BENGALURU: The biggest hurdles women face, in following their dream career, are still men’s clubs at work, senior management’s lack and the weight of domestic responsibilities. This is the opinion shared by women team heads and entrepreneurs who will be part of Global Mentoring Walk, being organised by Her Second Innings at Cubbon Park today.The event is to bring together mentors – accomplished women leaders – and mentees – aspiring women business – because a network is crucial to corporate success. Manjula Dharmalingam, the founder of Her Second Innings, says, “We believe women are shy to network and approaching experts. So we are bringing together these mentors to mentees.”
Women mentors agree that networking remains a male privilege. Sudha Adarsh, Director of Software Engineering at Oracle India, says,”There are fewer women leaders up the ladder. Men get together with other men over a drink or a smoke and it is difficult for women to break into that social circle. But it is really needed? I don’t think you should have to do anything you are unwilling to do.”Unfair domestic expectations can pull women down too.
Co-founder of Pink Ladder, Soujanya Vishwanath, says, “Lack of support from partner and family is the biggest challenge a woman faces, and it is a commonly shared one. Women are not allowed to have a voice at home and their career aspirations are considered secondary to a husband’s career. We need to teach our men to be more aware and more accepting of a woman’s choices”.
Vandana Manoj, AVP — customer service at Matrimony.com, agrees. She says the biggest challenge she has seen a woman face was when “a capable and brilliant individual had to give up what she loves most to meet demands by her in-laws”.
About the walk
The walk will see over 100 registered budding professional women as mentees, who are between 20 and 35 years, and are starting out or have taken a career break, and 40 mentors with nearly three decades of experience in various fields. “We check the profile of the mentees and understand their challenge and bring them to the right mentor,” says Manjula.