We live in a male-dominated world. I have realised this truth since I was a young boy. One cannot question this premise since we do live in a male-dominated world. The male member is supposed to be the breadwinner of the family, providing with necessities, mobilizing resources for a better standard of living and generally, providing support to all members of the family. It was believed, not so long ago, by one and all, that women have a passive role— they remain inside the house and attend to a variety of household activities like cooking, housekeeping, and taking care of children.
Since it did not affect my lifestyle, I happily lived with the above belief till my engineering college days. I spent a long tenure of about six years completing my graduation and post-graduation. Higher education proved to be transformative for me! In those six years, I learnt and adopted several newer ways of living my life – including but not limited to improving on my communication and shedding of my somewhat introvert nature. Thanks to the people I was surrounded by my classmates, close friends, seniors, professors at college and many more in the immediate external environment.
Unfortunately, however, my so-called transformation did not bring any worthwhile change in my attitude towards girls. Whenever it came to connecting with girls, I was attached and detached at the same time. If I reflect further, however, I was comfortable and felt secure in the company of elderly females and loved talking to them.
At the age of 24, I started my first job. My circle of influence was now steadily growing, and I had started connecting with many persons from different strata of society. If the work situation demanded, I had to interact with strangers too. In this period of my life, I had many occasions to interact with grown-up girls, young women, housewives (I would love to call them home-makers instead), and professional females like school and college teachers, company executives, and entrepreneurs. As a young man, I was interested and curious about them too!
I think of this period, from 1972 until I married two years later in 1974, was the time that broke all my misconceptions. My discussions and interactions with women from all walks of life had opened up all the closed valves inside my head. I was now clear of all my mental blocks that any matured woman – in any role in society: a student, teacher, homemaker, business executive, entrepreneur, or social activist – can be a fantastic change agent for our country. Until that moment, I used to look at every problem, program, or project through the lens of the POV of a man but now my perspective changed totally. But now, I look at everything from the joint perspective of a male and female both.
If we accept the above concept of “joint perspectives,” it opens a new window of opportunity for us. Let me explain. If we have an important project to execute – we can build the project team by including both males and females from different social, ethnic, and demographic backgrounds, cross-cultural orientations, and skill-sets.
For the last several years, I have seen women successfully take important roles as businesspersons, organizational leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. I read a Forbes article once that discussed how enterprises run and managed by women folks make more money. Women have a strong self-belief, exhibit extreme faith and are passionate about whatever they do. Women generally are very good organizers, have a strong sense of purpose, show patience and persistence and are more than willing to leave their comfort zones to reach their goals.
IN A WOMAN DOMINATED WORKPLACE- MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
In my third inning – as a retired professional – I have been working as an Adjunct Professor with a renowned film, communication, and creative arts institute in Mumbai. I teach business and management subjects in their School of Media and Communication (SMC). SMC is headed by a qualified and well-experienced media professional. I take pride in saying that our department is led by a woman.
She is a wonderful person, a master of her craft, and knows how to get the best from her team of over a dozen young and middle-aged female faculty members plus three academic coordinators. She has only two male teachers in her team, and I am one of them!
We work in SMC as a close-knit family under the umbrella of our lady-boss (not citing her name for the sake of privacy) who treats us with frequent gifts and small but cute celebrations within the department. She practices the creative fusion of assertion and affection excellently. Work is like play and fun at SMC because all members respect each other and love what they do. If they do not love what they do, they can always ask for a change under our flexibility-loving culture.
A DEDICATION ON THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
We celebrated International Women’s Day this week and I wanted to put on record my respect and remembrances to all those wonderful females with whom I have worked recently and who have had a significant impact on my life. As you all know, I am working as a freelance professional for the other institutions also. Through this post, I also pay my regards and respect to all those females in these institutions who have been working with me. I am grateful for their work and positive presence in my life.
Showing my gratitude to these wonderful women who have positively impacted my personal and professional life…