A couple of years back, a senior colleague in a responsible position, during a casual talk, observed that a lot of support systems need to be in place for a woman to be able to pursue a career. This statement has somehow stayed with me and I was impressed with the unflattering, matter-of-fact tone with which he made the observation.
It is very encouraging when there are men around you with such sensitivity, who not only make the work environment women-friendly and ‘light’, but also give a gentle pat on the back every now and then to convey that all is well, ensure that (if in their means) opportunities are fairly distributed based on merit and not gender, empathize with the women on a trapeze and see that petty politics do not get in the way of a woman’s growth. All these without much ado.
Compare this with another kind who think twice about recruiting young women just out of college because marriages and babies come in the way! The types who do not spare an opportunity to take a woman on a guilt-trip for not staying late into the night to complete an assignment, or take a call from home! The ones who cannot pass up a note of appreciation without acting as if they have bestowed a favor. If such people are not thwarting woman’s progress, what are they doing?