Women In Management – A Man’s Perspective

I declare that I have not been influenced or forced into writing any portion of the article based on anyone else’s opinion. The following account is true and honest to the best of my knowledge, I will try to take no sides in the article and cautiously try to provide valuable criticism to the topic. To be writing this article as a man might seem like I am trying to tell a narrative that is not my own, but do hear me out.

“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”

Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO)

It is 2017 and ‘women in management’ is still something that needs to be discussed. Less than 7% of the Fortune 500 companies are run by women. There are 15 female world leaders currently in office, eight of whom are their country’s first woman in power; these women still represent fewer than 10% of 193 UN member states (basic mathematics). To have a better representation of women in leadership roles, it is essential to have more women in management education.

Women in management education in India almost instantly opens up a can of worms that is reservation for girls, but that is something I am not going into in this article. Here I just wish to discuss how more girls in b-schools should become the norm, and how such articles should, very soon, lose the need for their existence.

Studying in a premier b-school, surrounded by the best minds in the country, it is startling to be aware of the fact that just how even footed the two sexes are, in terms of competence. Right from study group dynamics, gender plays a role and tempers many interactions in the course. One line of thought says, that the disparity comes along in terms of how the females are held to not just higher, but entirely different standards of evaluation by the peer group. Despite all the well-educated people, despite being tomorrow’s leaders, there is still a tendency to simply expect the girls to be ‘nice’ before everything else, and above everything else.

The other says that it is a myth, and both are treated equally. The work distribution is same among all the member of the group and everyone is held up to an equally high standard of performance. It does not matter who fails to complete the work, you have to get up and take the heat, be it a boy or a girl. I am sure there is sufficient evidence to support both. Assertiveness is frequently interpreted as aggressiveness. Making this kind of judgement is again, common to both genders.

I, for one, support the second line of thought. It is not about woman upliftment but gender equality. Woman upliftment for me is just a means to do so. However, there are very obvious signs of improvement. There is so much open conversation about such things now, and such conversations and discussions are imperative towards eventually achieving some significant change, in the near or otherwise future.

Apart from this, in the best colleges at least, there is no overt discrimination of any sort. Both the girls and boys are equally encouraged to participate and be involved in all activities throughout the campus. The best opportunities, be it in terms of scholarships, competitions or academics, are open to all without reservation. Such signs are pointing towards a more inclusive, better-represented future, where such essays are no longer required, where equal parameters of judgement will be used, one where everything is truly egalitarian.

Gaurang Gupta

Management student in IIM Shillong with a work experience of 11 months in IT Domain