31 December, 2013

A Decade in Software Testing – Glass Ceiling, Slotting and Judgment Disposals (Part III)

Read Part I and Part II of this blog post before reading this one. 

Glass Ceiling
Recently, a women, VP of a large MNC in Bangalore claimed there is no glass ceiling and that gender stereotypes don’t exist. She said how she got it all easy, without any struggle as a woman. I have this to say here, “Well, lady, you got plain lucky perhaps. Gender Stereotypes do exist and they exist everywhere. It’s just that you haven’t had the time to spot it yet – which may also mean it hasn’t happened to you yet.”

When a man succeeds, he is awesome. When a woman succeeds, it’s because she was nice to her boss. Her skills end up in gutter. Slotting women without really understanding their work or even attempting to do so is another trend seen more often in the women-suppressed world – sometimes women suppress themselves and call it a ‘wise choice’. Sometimes, others (both men and women) end up suppressing other women. Take a look at this 1 minute video which tells a lot!

Judgement Disposals
I once worked with a colleague who was very pretty and a good natured girl. Since she was pretty, a majority of colleagues were looking excuses to talk to her, since she worked for a different department. For the soft toned girl she was, she politely declined coffee meet-ups, dinner catch-ups and handled this with utmost sensitivity and professionalism. Some of the guys who didn’t like her response to their requests ended up calling her a slut and that she had lots of boyfriends. When did “being pretty” mean putting up a sign board on the face reading, “I am available for everyone to talk to”. She is entitled to live the life she wants, but people around her have to get judgmental or they lose their sleep. This is just one specific case. I can go on and on about many such in organizational contexts.

People are making judgments about women all the time. If a guy looks sad because India lost a cricket match, it’s completely believable. If a girl looks sad, she must have had a fight with her mother-in-law. Why judge women? Why throw pre-conceived notions about women in the air with callous insensitivity?

We as a society must stop becoming judgmental about people in general if we are willing to lead the way to a better society.

Hey Girl, You Have Always Rocked!
You are already an entrepreneur – How on earth did you manage to pull yourself up to the challenges life offered and managed to get till here?

Don’t wear a special badge on your shoulder and expect fair treatment because you are a woman.

Pick the battles which are worth fighting for

If you choose to fight, choose to win

Challenge the system, not the people– it doesn’t work that way

Don’t lean in at all times. Sometimes, step back. Other times, take a leap of faith. Whatever the situation, believe in yourself

Become the benchmark of professionalism irrespective of where you work or how people treat you

Don’t allow your tolerance to be mistaken for cowardice or playing safe

Have a Mentor who’s been there, done that – Start from your mom, perhaps

Be Your Own Boss

Have Big Heady Audacious Goals

Make sure people take you seriously

Hierarchy has nothing to do with skill. Keep Upskilling yourself

Don’t focus on competition, focus on solving problems and working towards solutions

Ask yourself, “Why do I work? For brownie points? To fulfill my passion?”

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind ~ Dr. Seuss

People have to get rid of the disability of the mind, of having pre-conceived notions about the world
Lakshmi Pratury

Celebrate Womanhood!

Parimala Hariprasad


  1. Parimala,

    Good to read all the three parts of this blog series.
    Each and every word is so very true and the final paragraph "Hey Girl, You Have Always Rocked!" is very inspiring.

    Keep blogging....

    Ananda Jothi Balakrishnan