Once I saw a video wherein a story was told to participants, as following:

“A ‘man’ and the ‘son’ walked into an office building, where the ‘son’ had an interview. After an hour both came out the building and started walking. After few minutes, the man got the call. When the call was over, the son asked who it was. The man said that it was CEO of the company where the son had interview just now and the CEO informed that he is selected for the job.”

The question which was asked from the participants that who could be the CEO, while the clue was the company belonged to the person (father).

Participants tried and gave all sorts of answers, but everyone started the sentence with ‘HE’ or indicated that the CEO was a man, while the right answer was that the CEO was the mother of the candidate and the ‘person’ was the father who was the owner of the company.

The outcome here is the mind-set and stereotype. We always think that such high positions like CEO can be held by males (maybe not all but mostly). It is generally not in our imagination that a woman can be a CEO or holding any high position, despite there are lot of such examples today at all levels, across all societies and countries.

Similarly, in the current race for Director General of the World Trade Organization, the one and important highlight is that the next DG will be a woman for sure now, after the two finalists for the next round. This has become another reason to celebrate, especially for kind of movement and group called “Women in Trade” (certainly we still need such groups at larger scale). It is always good to promote all capable and eligible people irrespective of their gender or race or any other factor which can otherwise be the reason for discrimination. However the point here is how long it will take to make normal that being a woman is no less as compared to any man when it comes to any position in any profession. Perhaps it is due to the history of abuse and discrimination against women, but how far it is still good to hold such mind-set. How long women will have to fight for their place. It may not be true for all women, some of them might have got right opportunity at right time and were lucky for not facing or coming across such stereotype, but largely a lot of them face such mind-set and most of the time are pushed down or rejected or ignored.

We as a society or country, have grown so much and in better situation like never before by all means, however, our mind and heart has not grown up as far as social bias or discrimination and this is true, many a times, even for the urban educated class. And the biggest problem is that we refuse to accept that we are on the wrong side. If I am not ready to accept my disease at the first place, how can I cure it? The same is applicable for social bias and discrimination too.

We all must think what kind of society we want to create and what kind of legacy we want to leave, once we depart, for the future generations. All our actions – social, professional and personal – should be around this thought. If it is so, then every single action, thought and emotion will be prospective and progressive. To me, no other deep science or philosophy is needed in this regard.

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Manish Sharma

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