The Sacrifice

   The women of my generation might be considered naive and the generations that followed us is too practical. We knew too little compared to the what the girls of today know. The girls that are growing up today may not be the first to encounter equal opportunity but they are definitely the first to learn that all the opportunities may not ever translate in professional achievement. These girls have watched their mothers sacrificing something by trying to "do it all". The something that women gave up / sacrificed was actually their careers.
   Women have the skills to lead in any position at the workplace. In some of the elite institutions in India women are outnumbering men at the workplace. The gender gap in academics is a threat to the men as women have outnumbered them here. Yet the tragedy is that the pipeline that is choked with educated women at the entry level is enormously filled with men who are into the leadership positions. The reasons for this winnowing out are many BUT the greatest one is the gap in leadership ambition of women. A survey that was conducted on college students states that - there are more men who prefer the managerial position as their priority in the first three years after their graduation. In a group of highly professional men and women there will be less women who will describe themselves as ambitious.
   A shift has been noticed in the upcoming generations. According to a survey of Millenials it has been found that the women today are very likely like the men today to describe themselves as ambitious. This in itself is an improvement in the women of today even though the gap in ambition still remains. The women are less likely to admit that they would like to take a leadership position nor will they readily define themselves as 'ambitious', visionary' or as 'women who are willing to take risks'.
   This is because professional ambition is very much expected of men but for the women it is considered negative. A man would get a compliment - 'he is ambitious' and this will show his worth but the same compliment for a woman in our society is still a taboo.Women who are aggressive and hard charging pay a social penalty because of these traits within them but men are considered successful and powerful. Whatever a woman wants / tries to achieve comes with a big price which she has pay in any form at the personal / professional / societal level. According to Gayle Lemmon, Deputy Director of the Council of Foreign Relations' Women and Foreign Policy Program - due to this negativity around the word ambitious many women consider this word as a dirty word for women.
   Actually the problem is not ambition but the responsibilities that the women have in their lifetime which have made them prioritize meaningful goals like rearing children, raising a family and tending to its needs, contributing to the society and helping to improve the lives of others and seeking fulfillment at the personal level. It is not that women are less ambitious but they are more enlightened towards the greater goals of life. Most of the women believe that leadership roles are not the only means to create a profound effect. Sacrificing something demands a lot of courage and if someone does it in your life value it and respect the person. It could be possible that the sacrifice of that particular person is the reason why you are not lonely / a reason why you have those things which you have enjoyed today / a reason why your life is hassle free and fulfilling.


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