Women better but men still rule the roost

If you jostle your mind you will be hard-pressed to find a boy topping a competitive examination in recent times, especially in the Indian context. By many metrics, women are equal, if not superior, to men in the intellectual arena. “Girls make up over half of the children in gifted and talented programs,” researchers have noted. “Women graduate from college at higher rates, as well as from master’s and doctoral programs.” Even so, when it comes to high-paying jobs and top-notch leadership roles you will find that it is men who rule the roost. Why this gender imbalance at the workplace?

Despite the fact that India was home to the first women Prime Minister or was among the first to elect a woman President when it comes to choosing a CEO or the Chairman of an Indian company, men push their way into leadership roles since they are self-confessedly more intelligent. The underlying prejudices persist. (It helps explain why children still think of scientists as male.) That means some of our smartest citizens are not getting the opportunities they deserve, which ultimately hurts all of us.

Barring Indira Nooyi, Kalpana Chawla, and Kiron Mazumdar Shaw, few Indian names spring to mind when you think of women business leaders. Is the recent Supreme Court ruling on women being equal to men when it comes to promotion in the armed forces a precursor of things to come? Women are known to be emotionally more resilient than men, with higher EQ levels, but why are they not breaking the proverbial glass ceiling. The recent Mission Chandrayan 2 team shows there is a women’s revolution sweeping the nation. A woman CEO in the corporate sector is an idea whose time has come. Happy Women’s Day!

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