By India Today Education Desk: Women will face challenges when they want to climb that corporate ladder when they are freshers in the corporate world and when they are aspiring techies, doctors, or coders.
Their mettle has been tested since the day that very thought of STEM echoed into consciousness. Tried and tested at every turn- not just academically- this ‘glass barrier’ comes in many shapes and sizes. It could be as clear as societal biases, frosted like a skeptical family, or laminated like the thinly veiled discouraging voice in your head.
1. SOCIETAL BIAS AND FAMILIAL SUPPORT
While times may have changed for the better, girls in STEM still face similar issues. It’s important to remember that your career path and goals are ultimately yours to choose, and you should feel empowered to make decisions that align with your aspirations.
Remember that your journey is unique, and your experiences can be a source of strength and resilience. By staying true to yourself and your passions and seeking support and resources along the way, you can overcome the barriers you may encounter and pursue a fulfilling and rewarding career in STEM.
Chandni Sachdeva, Senior Director Product Management, Global Services, Fiserv, reminiscences, “I started my journey as an aspiring techie in the late 90s. Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for society to believe that choosing a strenuous educational path didn’t hold merit when the final decision to have a career or not would lie in the hands of future in-laws.
2. ESCAPING THE COMFORT ZONE
“This is an especially difficult field when most of the world around you is trying to put you down, urging you to ‘choose a different stream’. Those voices become louder when you keep hearing them over the course of your STEM years.”, laments Prajakta Kulkarni, General Manager – Cognitive Solutions Delivery at Findability Sciences.
Most of the aspiring techies out there are probably having the same second thoughts. The one piece of advice that would have aided me during my initial years would have been that stepping out of your comfort zone is imperative, disruption is at the core of the tech world, and similarly, you need a little bit of the same when taking those daunting steps.
3. FIGHTING THE UNCONSCIOUS ASSIMILATION
Regardless of how times have changed with respect to better resources, more access to opportunities, etc, women still go through the internalized guilt stemming from unconscious assimilation.
Gayathri Vaidyanathan, Director of Software Engineering at Lowe’s India stated, “One of my biggest learnings has been about asking for help without feeling guilt – in fact, it is a sign of strength that you are ready to hear either a yes or a no. I think as women, we tend to stop ourselves from asking for support or help, thinking we will be looked at as incompetent or vulnerable.”