How Women Are "Breaking The Glass Ceiling"



“Your Husband is the sole provider, why do you need to work?”

“Don’t you have a family to look after?”

“How do you have the heart to leave your kids and go to work?”

“What are you even going to achieve by working?

What has incessantly been holding women back was the fear of initiating dissent, the fear of being judged and the subjection to societal pressure.

Well, not any more.

A welcoming trend of the 21st century has empowered women to identify the glass ceiling and break it.

What is the Glass Ceiling?

Very often we witness women joining the workforce with confidence, valor and an aspiration to conquer the world.

They go on climbing the corporate ladder until suddenly a plethora of responsibilities starts weighing them down. The responsibilities of a married life, of children, of in-laws, and of society.

This is when the attrition rate reaches a peak. Middle aged women start dropping out of the work force to attend to things which have been labelled “more important” by society.

This is precisely termed as the Glass Ceiling, a ceiling above which there are better opportunities and a better life, but yet of oblivion to these women who have been blinded by the age-old norms and ideologies.

This invisible barrier prevents women from reaching top hierarchal positions whilst also shattering their dreams of branching out of the workforce as budding entrepreneurs.

Falguni Nayar - Founder & CEO of Nykaa 


There are several women who have been shattering the glass ceiling for a while now, but amongst them a story that I draw utmost inspiration from is the story of a budding entrepreneur, Falguni Nayar, Founder and CEO of Nykaa, a multistore e-commerce website which transitioned from a beauty & wellness platform in 2012 to upscaling every operational area ever since and is all set to release its IPO in 2021.

Despite being the Director of the Equity Division at the well-known Kotak Mahindra Bank, Falguni never let mediocracy overtake her ambition of being an entrepreneur.

She left the bank at the peak of her career and risked it all by stepping into the then volatile e-commerce business of 2012.  E-commerce had just started its operations pan India and venturing into it was a brave step that Falguni along with her daughter, dared to take. Her superiors at Kotak Mahindra Bank placed zero confidence in her venture and tried to persuade her into securing her position at the bank instead.

Today, the business has evolved into a one-stop destination for all fashion and make-up brands. Along with an e-commerce operation, they have opened stores across the country to service the slow transition of the Indian community who are still skeptical of online operationality.

Not a typical “Rags to Riches” kind of story but nonetheless an inspiration to all those young women who feel gripped by societal pressure. It is indeed a much needed stimulus to step into the work-force with a new energy, a new zeal.

She believed in her goal and didn’t need validation from anyone else. She strongly believed that the venture would strike chords with women who like to dress-up, not to impress others but as a boost of confidence for themselves.

Replacing the ‘need’ to work, with the ‘want’ to work, trend must be encouraged. Just like Falguni, an already well settled banker who didn’t “need” to start an e-commerce website, but “wanted” to because that’s exactly what she was passionate about and pursing her passion was the one thing that brought her immense satisfaction and happiness.

Some naysayers may call it a capitalistic act, wherein an already wealthy professional goes on to acquire more wealth. But what they don’t see is a woman behind the scene, making the platform what it is today by her sheer trust in herself and the nerve to go on with her dream despite all the psychological obstacles that have supposedly been embedded in the minds of every working women of India. 

 

“Women are driving towards success,

Disregarding societal pressure and stress,

With confidence they progress,

Chipping away at the glass ceiling,

 Their aspirations need no concealing.”


Written By - Tushna Choksey 



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