#Shepreneurs: Women Leaders Are Breaking the Glass Ceiling by Choosing Unconventional Professions Entrepreneur India explores what inspires Indian women to take a plunge into unconventional fields
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Women are no longer afraid to enter the spaces which were earlier earmarked for men. Be it the military or mechanics, women are making waves in unconventional fields. Companies invested across male-dominated territories are proactively working towards higher women participation in the workforce and are actively recruiting and promoting women.
Inspiring women like Mary Kom and Phogat sisters have worked hard against all social norms and stereotypes to break the glass ceiling and carve their way to success. Women in entrepreneurship also are battling their own demons. While we are moving towards a discrimination-free ecosystem, there is still a long way to go. Entrepreneur India explores what inspires Indian women to take a plunge into unconventional fields:
Fighting the Prevailing Dominance
Being a woman in a field dominated by men could be scary. The need to prove their potential time and again without getting the due credit for their job can work negatively for their confidence. "It's a mindset that needs a change and that mindset can be of either gender," believes Chanda Singh, Managing Partner, Geometry Encompass.
The bias starts at a very early age. The differentiation at home and outside embeds a picture into the young minds normalizing how gender should be treated going forward. "As a mom to a young daughter it's my responsibility to show her that there is no gender discrimination in her environment," shares Pooja Jauhari, CEO, The Glitch, emphasizing that change in the way parents think has bought about the new wave of equality.
How often do we see a woman serving as a mechanic, plumber or an electrician? Not much. People have grown accustomed to such jobs being done by men. Sunita Sapra, Chief Operating Officer, KARAM Industries believes that one reason for this is because it's unsafe for women to do such jobs in India. "I believe that any women working as a plumber or in a similar trade will feel very unsafe."
However, she understands that no obstacle is too big to stop modern women from achieving their dreams. "In the past, there were no women DJ's, today many women are successful DJ's. Women are working in other traditionally male-dominated roles including bartending. Many women are employed as policewomen and women also work as taxi drivers and auto drivers. It's also not uncommon to see women working as bus drivers," she supported.
One Supporting Another
Women can progress in underserved fields only when others already in the ecosystem provide proper support and guidance. "We finally live in a world where the gender gap between men and women is slowly being bridged, by efforts of all those who believe in gender equality," explained Sonica Aron, Founder and Managing Partner, Marching Sheep said.
The Right Education
A well-educated ecosystem understands the power women holds in their dainty-looking wrists. All they need is to be empowered to their full potential. "Educating, empowering and ensuring that all children have their rights met, means that girls and boys will grow up on equal footing," stated Caroline Boudreaux, Founder, Miracle Foundation, adding that the bias women face is often self-imposed and can be redeemed via learning.
Encouragement is the Key
Women need to be encouraged. Encouragement has brought them so far in the world and that is exactly what is going to take them forward in all the underserved fields today. "We need to make our little girls get their hair dirty and messy in the mud, fix their cycle chains on their own, change a bulb in the house or the car tyres. I can't list out all the small yet empowering activities but I certainly believe that these little things can make a huge difference," stated Ankita Jain, Co-Founder, GoPaisa.
The Power of Management
Women are great people managers. Their innate knack of understanding how to bring out the best from different individuals makes them suitable for every field. "Women bring a unique perspective of looking at things. In this age of transformation, the ability to reimagine a domain run conventionally is worth its value in gold," stated SudeshnaDatta, Co-Founder, Absolutdata.
Commitment & Perseverance
In this male bastion industry, it's the commitment and perseverance that sets women apart from men. "Women have the tenacity and experience which has, through the years, proved them to be superior to their male counterparts. In any case, in this digital world, you work from where you are and don't worry about your gender," stated Ratna Chadha, CEO, TIRUN Travel Marketing.