In her much talked about the book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg wrote: “Conditions for all women will improve when there are more women in leadership roles giving a strong and powerful voice to their needs and concerns.”
In India, the general cultural expectation has been that married women should prioritize family and her children. Most believe that women need not work if the husband earns reasonably well. However, this is slowly changing. More women are not only joining the workforce but also breaking several gender stereotypes. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the careers where only men dominated the top positions until now.
Phogat sisters caused a stir by winning medals in wrestling, a sport that had been restricted to men till a few years ago. Mahavir Phogat, their father, got a lot of flak from his village and community for his decision to train his daughters to be wrestlers. Other examples: Smriti Mandhana hit the headlines for becoming the Best Women International Cricketer. It has never been easy for women to excel in sports without being criticized. Please take a look at the women cricket team of any country; they are not famous as compared to the men’s cricket world. Still, we have many examples that turned a deaf ear to the negative criticism like Olympic boxer Mary Kom and Rani Rampal, who is considered one of the best hockey players in the world.
Field of Science
Globally, it has been thought that women do not have the necessary qualities to be good scientists. That is drastically changing with women scientists doing phenomenal work world over. Take, for instance, India’s “Rocket Women” who took India into space with the Chandraayan-2 mission. Apart from this, several Indian women have made history in the field of science: Kalpana Chawla, Dr Indira Hinduja, Dr Aditi Pant, to name a few. Women have been successful in the medical industry. They are successful doctors, surgeons, paediatricians, and many more.
“Women can’t be funny” – this perception is being challenged by the likes of hugely popular comedians like Aditi Mittal, Radhika Vaz, Mallika Dua, and the internet sensation Lilly Singh, to name a few. Women have always been considered as emotional and sensitive to every issue, and some say that women can only cry and use tears as a weapon. But again, modern women have broken the stereotypes and proved that they could have a good sense of humour and be strong emotionally.
Although still heavily dominated by men, the field of documentary and commercial filmmaking is seeing more women behind the camera. The issue of a few women getting recognition as filmmakers is a global one. Recently Hollywood actress Natalie Portman showed her protest for women directors who weren’t nominated for an Academy Award by wearing a dress with their names on it. That said, there are women like Gauri Shinde, Mira Nair, Zoya Akhtar, Meghna Gulzar, etc. bringing about a change.
It wasn’t common to see a woman in the cockpit just a few years back. But women’s career as pilots is now taking off. Recently, The Indian Navy has hailed its first woman pilot, with Sub Lieutenant Shivangi taking control of an aircraft in another significant milestone for the country’s armed forces. According to CNN, today, 2,600 women are flying for private airlines, like navy and helicopter pilots, and in other aviation-related capacities across India. The highest proportion (12 per cent) of female commercial pilots in the world are from India. This is despite the country’s patriarchal society, which typically frowns on women in Such jobs.
Often, many times, we have heard that women look good in Kitchen and cannot understand the financial accounting. But the women have proved that they are capable of handling finance. We can see more and more female chartered accountant, managers in a finance company and be successful. Learning and moving confidently is the key for successful women has shown in the financial industry. And whenever the women are being promoted in the industry, they are either made fun of as being promoted by mere luck or their character is blamed for being promoted soon. Yet again, women have proved them all wrong and worked harder.