Women in management - a movement from fifties to the next millennium
Parikh, Indira J.
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This paper provides a panoramic view of Indian Women in Management from the 1950 s to the end of the present century. The paper then looks at new opportunities for women mangers in the next mllennium. Women in Management are coming of Age. The transformation of the Indian Women form an enigmatic figure clad and covered in metres of fabric to today s educated, capable, successful and accomplished women has not been without great personal sacrifices. These are women who have broken shackles thousands of years old, who have walked a previously untraversed path, who have had the courage to make new beginnings and to pay the price for the choices they have made. The paper discusses 5 phases of evolution of the Indian women s role in management, spanning 5 decades of this century and the transition to the new millennium. The first phase represented tentative beginnings, where women entered the workplace to utilize their education and time, the second where they struggled to break through the invisible barriers of promotions and senior positions, the third phase where the women competed for careers and opportunities in the organization, the fourth phase representing the 1990s, where the organizations and the society saw the evolution of a mature career person, with professional ambitions and aspirations matching her male-counterpart. The consequent evolution of the environment, both at home and at workplace, witnessed societal changes in terms of an increased acceptance by families and colleagues at workplace of the women s new role. As always change has not been easy but the fact that Indian women now occupy positions and rightful place in the corporate world bears testimony to their fortitude, patience and courage. This paper ends with women s role in the new millennium having traveled a long distance. Women in management now need not be the rebels of the past, but can enjoy lifestyles that do justice to both home and work. flexible corporate structures and norms, enabling technologies and liberalised societal expectations will facilitate women to climb the upper rungs of the corporate ladder without necessarily sacrificing their femininity and or role of motherhood. The paper concludes on the hopeful note that men and women will both create spaces and roles to enjoy multi-dimensional lives which are fulfilling at work and home and which allow for individual choices and for personal and professional growth.
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