BENGALURU: Fortunately, I have never faced any glass ceiling in my career yet. I’m also aware that I am probably an exception. In Goalwise, I am one of the co-founders and there has never been any disparity in terms of salaries for me or any of the other women employees. I should also add that I haven’t faced discrimination as frequently as I’d imagine I would in a men-dominated space like finance.
Of course, there have been annoying instances. On and off there are representatives (men and women) of mutual fund companies and other vendors who insist on talking only to my co-founders Swapnil/Ankur, even though I handle operations. There have been times when we have had to categorically tell them that they will not meet them and they will have to meet me to take things forward. I have also directly addressed this issue with most of them at the cost of it being awkward.
When these things happen I remind myself of some things. First, that everyone including me comes from a context that develops our world view, so one should try to be as non-judgemental of the people who have discriminated against you as a woman. Second, it is important to strike a dialogue with the person about the issue, understand their point of view and put across yours.
It’s awkward but I almost feel like it’s my responsibility to communicate what I feel. I am aware that even if I communicate there is a good chance they will not change their perspective. But I also know that if I don’t communicate, then they will definitely not change. Nor will I get a chance to understand them and change my point of view, if need be. The first two or three times it’s very difficult to bring up these things, especially with people you are not close to but as time passes, it does get easier and sometimes you can end up having some very insightful conversations.
- Savitri Bobde, co-founder, COO, Goalwisew
The glass ceiling is a reality for most women, but I have not had to deal with any issues at work because of my gender. It helps that I was brought up in a family where I was treated the same as the boys, so my own mindset has been shaped without any prejudices against my own gender, which many women also carry. Of course, there is no substitute for hard work, but I’ve also been fortunate to work with the right kind of people who judged the work I did and not my gender.
Where a woman needs to take a stand they should always have the courage to do that. It may sometimes feel twice as difficult for you to prove yourself v/s how it is for your male counterparts, but do it anyway - it also feels twice as rewarding. I myself am an example of how times have changed and how people have begun looking at female entrepreneurs as a force to reckon with. Let us be grateful that we’re part of a generation where this is possible, and whatever gap is still there, all well-educated men and women should do their bit to bridge it, so we can look forward to an equal tomorrow.
- Ankita Sheth, co-founder, Vista Rooms
As women, we are always told about our limitations and expectations from society. I too have been made to believe that there are many things in this world that a woman can’t do or achieve like men can. When I wanted to pursue my dream to start my own venture after my graduation, I faced the glass ceiling of the society and even my family. Hailing from a small town and doing something different is a huge task for women. My parents tried to stop me, urged me to opt for teaching or banking, since they thought it was the best option to choose as a woman.
Over the years I have made myself strong enough to fight against this. Society has constructed this glass ceiling to help men remain at the top of the hierarchy. It’s time we break free and go after our dreams without any guilt. We must prove our worth and leave a mark in society.
- Sukriti Roy, co-founder, Bihar Bytes and ProBox Media