Women’s Challenges and Efforts to Break the Glass Ceiling Phenomenon

In this era, it is not taboo for women to occupy managerial positions or high positions in companies. Actually women and men have the same opportunities. Apparently the reality on the ground, there are still many challenges to discrimination aimed at women.

To coincide with International Women’s Day, Katadata Indonesia held a virtual Women Leaders Forum 2022 on Tuesday (8/3/2022). In a discussion entitled “Breaking The Glass Ceiling”, it was revealed that there are many invisible barriers that make it difficult for women to reach the highest positions in organizations. To know the full review, check this article, OK!

1. Breaking the glass ceiling isn’t easy but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible

Women's Challenges and Efforts to Break the Glass Ceiling PhenomenonWomen Leaders Forum 2022: Breaking The Glass Ceiling. Tuesday (8/3/2022). IDN Times/Adyaning Raras

“Glass Ceiling is a metaphor that describes the existence of invisible barriers that limit women from occupying the highest positions in organizations or companies. Despite having a clear vision, women often stop in middle positions,” explained Sorta Tobing as Head of Multimedia at Katadata.co.id.

Actually there is always the potential to be able to penetrate glass ceiling. Based on data compiled by Katadata globally, there are 38 percent of women who are HR directors. Followed by 36 percent of women who successfully occupy the position of Chief Finance Officer. That is, not so many women who managed to achieve high positions than men.

There are many factors behind this. Maya Juwita as Executive Director of IBCWE explained that paternalistic culture dominates globally. According to him, this phenomenon must happen all over the world, where women are considered less appropriate to be leaders because of gender bias.

2. Stereotypes are often encountered by women in various aspects of life, including work

Women's Challenges and Efforts to Break the Glass Ceiling PhenomenonWomen Leaders Forum 2022: Breaking The Glass Ceiling. Tuesday (8/3/2022). IDN Times/Adyaning Raras

Maya Juwita stated that there are still gender stereotyping, who think that it is better for women to remain silent or become housewives. Unwritten, it is this gender bias that makes people view the position of men as higher so that women are less appropriate to be leaders.

“The source of the problem is the global paternalism culture which shows that the position of men is higher so that the value of leadership is often associated with the value of masculinity,” he said.

Maya also mentioned that sometimes there are gender blind in the company’s bureaucratic processes, such as recruitment or promotion. Gender blind it refers to a condition where women and men have the same opportunities and are given the same way. Whereas women and men have different life experiences.

“Most of the women are raised in different ways and life experiences from men, for example pregnant, giving birth, having children. So the focus is because they have many roles. That is often the obstacle. Not to mention the guidance from the community,” he said about the main obstacle in reach a high position.

3. The women’s dilemma is also the most dominant factor in the glass ceiling

Women's Challenges and Efforts to Break the Glass Ceiling PhenomenonWomen Leaders Forum 2022: Breaking The Glass Ceiling. Tuesday (8/3/2022). IDN Times/Adyaning Raras

Stereotype including the culture that exists in Indonesian society. This culture may be difficult to break, but not impossible. In addition to the problem of gender bias, women are also faced with conflicting responsibilities between family and work.

“Moreover, this pandemic feels more difficult because there is homework, professional work. Women also have to take care of children who go to school from home. It becomes a burden and gives rise to the view that women cannot work optimally because they have to share focus,” said Maya.

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Maya also sees that women are too easy to assimilate these values ​​because they have been taught from a young age to obey and not to argue. There is also a culture in society that sees women as unfit to be leaders with high careers, because they risk causing problems in the household.

“Unfortunately, women stillabsorb that matter. Women are faced with difficult choices. If you go forward, the household is considered a mess. If you don’t advance, you will be considered unable to actualize yourself. The most influential environmental factors on glass ceiling this,” he added.

Also Read: Minister of Manpower Reveals Steps to Prevent Gender Bias in the Workplace

4. Efforts to break gender bias and the glass ceiling

Women's Challenges and Efforts to Break the Glass Ceiling PhenomenonMaya Juwita in the Women Leaders Forum 2022: Breaking The Glass Ceiling. Tuesday (8/3/2022). IDN Times/Adyaning Raras

As Executive Director, Maya sees economic interests as the reason that has so far been effective in breaking gender bias. According to him, gender equality still leads to social issues. Meanwhile, in terms of economy, the role of women is actually very beneficial.

“Women are assumed to be risk averse and men as risk taker. Actually, this is profitable in terms of business so that you don’t make decisions rashly,” said Maya.

When we imagine a meeting with character risk taker all, then the risk taken is too great. There must be risk averse which plays a role. Therefore, feminine trait needed in an organization or company to run a business.

Unfortunately, even in the business process, Maya explained that there are still people who adhere to conservative values. That is, those who are ambitious are seen as less good. Finally, this condition makes women afraid of being judged and not choosing to advance in developing their careers.

5. Taking sides with women is very necessary to encourage them to develop careers

Women's Challenges and Efforts to Break the Glass Ceiling PhenomenonAstranivari in the Women Leaders Forum 2022: Breaking The Glass Ceiling. Tuesday (8/3/2022). IDN Times/Adyaning Raras

There are those who underestimate the ambitious character in women. Astranivari as the Chief Marketing Officer of Investree actually said that women need this character so that other people do not arbitrarily determine their destiny.

“For hardworking women, don’t let other people determine your fate. You can determine your own career. I do what I think is right and right,” said the woman who is familiarly called Vari.

To encourage women to continue to develop, Vari and Maya continue to provide support. Taking sides with women is the right way to make women more empowered. For example, providing training on hard skills to implementing special leave rights for women in the company.

The issue of discrimination and women’s challenges is still a struggle that we all have to face together. Therefore, with the information above, I hope awareness about gender equality is also getting higher.

Also Read: Barriers and Challenges to Leadership of Women Journalists in Indonesia