Patronizing the Glass Ceiling

We talk a lot about diversity, inclusion, remaining unbiased at work. There are companies that have started a lot of career programs for women who want to get back to work after a break in careers.

There are also colleges and institutions that offer courses to ready these women who want to take up from where they left off.

The whole spotlight is on that person who has been away, and the world has passed by and it is constantly drummed into her that things have changed.

Well, if that person comes unarmed with professional knowledge and or hands-on work skills, she will never have a chance at getting back in the first place.

But the very fact that she can take it upon herself to get back to the grind knowing the full implications, it should be respected that she has weighed the pros and cons of being back in the place she knew about and has an idea of how the scenario is going to pan out.

But making statements like “We hope you will be able to do this, or It is not the same now as it was when you were working”, is just a way to get away with the fact that often the person who is making a comeback does not need to be trained to get back into the working space, but the working space and the current employees need equal training in accepting them too.

There have been instances where the offices where these women are hired are not ready to take on a person with more experience, but has been on a break

Often the experience the person had before their sabbatical is discounted and they are treated as complete novices. And given that level of work too.

It is also presumed that because she took a break for the family or children, they will always be her priority and work will suffer. This leads to her being given projects that are easy or ‘manageable’.

Besides dealing with the increase influx of office politics and dealing with know it all juniors she must also deal with the insecurities of bosses who would be her peers or juniors had she not strayed from her career path.

And when she decides she wants what she deserves she is given the excuse that she may have to work her way back up.

All said and done she prepared hard for her come back interview, she dug into her previous experiences and she now tries doubly hard to prove her worthiness to people who she in her right mind would not have given the time of the day less alone hired.

But how did the firm prepare itself for welcoming without bias, without being stereotypical, without being patronizing and presumptive in their role that she was on a break and so she is not serious about work.

It is a lot like telling our women to break all shackles and gain freedom but not teaching our men to accept independent free willed women.

And as long as this continues the pressure will always be on the women, independent or not, working or not.

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