Stereotypes: Make them work in your Favor

By Kirthiga Reddy , Director of Online Operations & Country Head, Facebook India

Kirthiga Reddy , Director of Online Operations & Country Head, Facebook India

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, is the world's largest social networking platform provider. With over a billion monthly active users the company has an employee count of 1300 and a market cap of $68.72 billion.

The time for change for the working Indian woman has been due from quite some time. A recent McKinsey report indicates that women in managerial positions in the west is 10-20 percent and constitute 3 - 6 percent of womanhood in India. The recent surge in entry level women engineers has done little to alter the figures suggested by the report. The technology world which is an equalizing force in terms of gender ratios of people hired, paints no different a picture. A global Forbes study indicates that the number of women CIOs today is at nine percent, a sharp dip from 12 percent two years before. Among the G20 countries India ranks amid the bottom, due to its safety, health care and education norms for women.

The realization has struck and companies, institutions and the government are focusing on bringing about the necessary changes. From the working woman's perspective the epicenter of this change is a Dream. Awareness of the same would pave way to endless probabilities. Barriers real or mental need to be pushed hard to make way for this change.

Marriage: Career Killer?

One of the most important career decisions that have to be made is the choice of a life partner, then comes the decision of the "ideal time" for having children. It takes a moment of deep thought to understand that there is never an ideal time to have children. Once children come, the next big decision is about prioritizing between being an amazing professional and a great mother. Many successful women have taken the big leap of handling both responsibilities and have found success. Voicing out a Request is the first step towards achieving it. Facilities required for a mother to monitor over her child during work hours should be accommodated in the workplace. Organizations have to encourage women to play both the roles and help to make life easy for women. Giving back to the community is another major responsibility that has to be embraced by women and one that should be encouraged by the organizations.

Leaning in

Research shows that women systematically underestimate and men systematically overestimate their abilities. A woman lays emphasis on all the negatives she brings to the role that is given to her rather than considering the positives that she could potentially bring to the same role.
Negotiation is another issue that haunts womanhood more so than it does to men. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA, women avoid salary negotiations. No firm would deliberately pay a man more than a woman. The difference is in the number of people who negotiate. Women need to believe and lean in.

There is something contraindicative that is working for the women community, success and likeability is positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women. Things have changed and it is up to the current generation to pave way for the next one. The next generation is an amazing one with limitless enthusiasm and it is only but exciting to know the magnitude of talent present in them and the encumbrances they can overcome.

The line between being dynamic and being over assertive

Investment in studying the different styles of people and of oneself is the key. It is up to the firms and organizations to help their employees to mingle and find ways to help them understand that all five fingers in one's hand are not the same. Conversations and interactions help to understand the various wavelengths. Shying away from the conversation because of fear is not an option. Learning to recognize the cues through body language is equally important.

The modern woman needs to start looking at the goal and not the hindrances. She has to make the stereotype work in her favor and focus on the impact. With the necessary tweaks, a rise in the feminine population in industries is due.

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