For the past several months, I’ve been reading the executive ladder of a business magazine. To my disappointment and wonder, I’ve yet to see a lady’s photograph on the ladder of success. How come that despite women being in such diverse fields, the top rungs have no place for them? Or is it that they shy away form publicity and rather be successful incognito? Is it that business magazine editors are so chauvinistic that they keep out women? Or is it just that women have not made it? Whatever the reason; it is sure cause for concern. What does it take to be a successful ladder-climbing executive? Hazlitt says that the way to secure success is to be more anxious about obtaining than about deserving it. Ben Johnson says, the way to rise is to obey and please. Two very interesting and most acceptable definitions. Going by these, perhaps we can analyze why women find the going tough. “More anxious about obtaining than deserving”. Most ambitious women don’t agree with this, unlike the successful men who go by it. Women have this obsession for wanting to prove themselves. Centuries of repression have made them fighters. They want to talk of principles, conscience and scruples, which are all insurmountable obstacles on the way to the top. They want to work hard and show how good they are. The fact that their pretty face can get them what an intellectual vacuum cannot, poses a threat to their capacity. They don’t want to get things by fluttering eyelashes. They will bend backwards to win on merit. In the process, they become defensive and thereby offensive and aggressive.
Men like pleasant females. They don’t know how to handle the war painted ones. Thus, they try to keep them down, with flimsy reasons.
Their mania for ‘deserving’ their credit drains women of all their energy. Add to it the home front where again they want to prove that they are excellent home makers and mothers. Their conscience does not permit their getting away to distant lands for meetings and conferences, leaving the young one with chickenpox, alone with daddy!
Coming to the second definition, “Obey and please”. They’ve never been a woman’s strong points. Just to prove that she will not be dominated anymore, she will refuse to obey. Before you can make her do what you want, you will have to explain your reasons, analyze the logic, thrash out the pros and cons and finally appeal to her emotional best to come round to your way of thinking. By that time, you are too exhausted to care what happens. To avoid such a haranguing experience; she will not be told anything and subsequently left out in the cold. As for pleasing again, women have this mental block against being nice, lest they be branched ‘soft’ and ‘gullible’! I think what really is the reason behind their failure as ladder climbers is that there is no one ‘behind’ them as there is a woman behind a successful man. It’s easy for a man to climb high with an understanding and inspiring woman saying ‘hey ho!’ form behind. But for the woman, it’s hard going because the man behind is constantly reminding her to ‘go slow’ as the home and hearth and his own comforts are being neglected.
Considering all these, let us say three cheers to the rising number of women on the ladder and applaud their tenacity.