A statement, which we often hear in the homes of working women, especially in India, “Oh! She’s working nowadays. Helps her pass the time otherwise what will she do the whole day? So we let her work!”
This statement speaks volumes about the mind-set of people from all over the world. Despite the increasing number of women in business, their climb to success is often impeded by the social environment.
The growth of women in business has seen a drastic change in recent years. Women have entered the business world with confidence, which has made the world sit up and take notice. Not only that, the rise of women entrepreneurs has also played a very important role in the development of the economy.
There is not a single area in the present economic world where women in business have not left their mark. The type of women women businesses have also seen a drastic change over the last few years. Here is a brief about how this development came about:
History of Women Leaders
Women have been a part of the business world for thousands of years. There is no definite time period, which we can pinpoint to define the entry of women in business. Since ages, there have been women rulers who have wielded their power and influence.
Women leaders have excelled in the world of arts, literature, politics, governance, science, research, construction etc. If we started naming every one of them then the list will run in hundreds of pages, however to name a few of them:
• Queen Elizabeth (politics)
• Rani Laxmi Bai (warrior)
• Elizabeth Arden (perfume and cosmetics)
• Olive Ann Beech (aerospace)
• Eliza Lucas Pinckney (first lady agriculturist)
The Transition – Women Become An Inspiration
It was in the Middle Ages that the transition took place and the business world was forced to sit up and take notice of the strength and the intuitiveness of women in business.
It was during this period that the phenomenon of glass ceiling was brought to light. The glass ceiling was the name given to the trend, which limited the rise of women to middle level positions only.
More emphasis was then paid to equal opportunities and higher education, which enabled business women in India to break the glass ceiling and become an inspiration to the coming generations. One of the biggest success stories of this time was the Lizzat Papad Udhyod (a self-initiative women co-operative), a name that Indian women all are familiar with.
Business Women In Recent Times
Once the proverbial glass ceiling was broken, there has been no stopping the business women of the world. The 20th century has seen a large change in the business perspective.
Women in business have set their own rules and made great inroads in every field of business because of excellent leadership and decision making abilities. They have shown a remarkable ability to strike the balance between work and family, which, as many business women claim, is the reason behind their success.
Some of the famous women in the current business world include –
• Ruth Handler (creator of Barbie dolls)
• Dr Kiran Mazumdar (biotech queen)
• Ekta Kapoor (Tele queen)
• Anita Roddick (The Body Shop Cosmetics)
• Neelam Dhawan (IT sector)
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