India’s most Powerful Business Woman
Social conformity. Traditional family roles. Sounds like the U.S. at the height of the feminist revolution in the early ’70s.
But this is India today, a country where women are becoming more prominent. Not just in politics–the country’s dominant political party, the National Congress Party, is, after all, headed by Sonia Gandhi, a woman who made our ranking of the World’s Most Powerful Women–but in big business, too. In increasing numbers, women are fighting long-standing prejudices and are working their way to the top of companies or starting their own businesses.
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However, women in India, a country that prides itself on being a traditional society, still face enormous pressure to conform to social mores. More often than not, the hurdle of conforming to traditional roles within families poses as much of a barrier to businesswomen in India as the still-too-thick glass ceiling at companies
Though women have made great strides in the corporate world in the last three decades, women from all income classes are still too often discouraged by family members from having careers that infringe too much on family life.
Why are women doing so well in India? One reason: the country’s long history of valuing education, so women who achieve academically are seen as smart and savvy. And it ordinarily doesn’t hurt to come from money or an entrepreneurial family either, especially when you’re trying to start a business.
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