Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Only 3.3 pc working women reach top positions, says a recent survey

Girls may fare better than boys in school, but when it comes to a career, their rise is hampered by the proverbial glass ceiling and only 3.3 per cent of the women make it to the top positions.

According to a study conducted by the business chamber Assocham, only 17.7 per cent women manage to reach the middle levels in their professions.

The study "Women Top in Education, Why Miss Top Positions" surveyed 1053 women in which 222 women were from rural India, 363 from the urban areas and 468 from the metro cities.

The largest segment of working women, 78.9 per cent, remained at the lowest working levels in their entire professional career.

The main obstacles which working women faced came from their own families, with 73 per cent saying their husbands were not supportive enough and family responsibilities stopped them from giving their best to their working life, according to the survey.

With a majority of men at the higher levels, women faced an increasing bias at the workplace as the male bosses did not give them the required approval and support compared to the male professionals, despite being better qualified.

"Despite performing better in the organisation, women receive less approval and recognition from male bosses and are slower to be promoted," the study said.

The result showed a unanimous dejection and despondency among the working women. The women also felt that the organisational culture at many institutions was exclusionary and did not support women's advancement, it added.

Fortytwo per cent working women felt that men had a better chance as they could stay late at work and do social networking and liaison which helped them in promotions.

Interestingly, though the working conditions were not very favourable, 58.66 per cent women preferred jobs, while only 33.66 per cent wished to remain housewives.

Increase in self-employment was also on the rise, with 17 per cent women in metros opting for it.

Good salary was the first preference of working women, while job security, satisfaction and responsibility were ranked second, third and fourth respectively in their marked preferences.

Many women were forced to live in a smaller position as family responsibility made it impossible for them to travel.

"Women prefer to remain in the small job position rather than take a transfer and job promotion for family reasons.

However, women had to leave jobs or take long leave without salaries when the husbands got transferred," the study revealed.

Many women felt that better economic conditions of the families prevented them from entering in the job markets, the survey said.

When it came to entering in the job market, gender discrimination was highly felt by urban women followed by rural segment.

The study also revealed that majority of educated non-working women over 76. 3 per cent were eager to join the job market. PTI