22 Dec 2020
GS Paper 4
A young female IAS officer joins a government department and realizes rampant gender bias. The male staff neither want to take orders from senior women officers nor the women are alloted serious departmental projects. Suggest steps that can be taken by the young IAS officer to end such discrimation to make the work culture conducive for women.
- Introduce by highlighting the issue of gender discrimination in general.
- Explain the steps that can be taken to end gender based prejudice in your workplace.
- Conclude suitably.
- Gender discrimination are manifestations of social prejudices. A traditional country like India with a patriarchal social history has many prejudices which fuel discrimination even in workplace.
- These gender biases have to be eradicated by moral persuasion, bringing about gender sensitivity and adopting exemplary standards of ethical behaviour.
Possible steps taken by young female officer:
- Leading by example: She should try to bring gender diversity and gender sensitivity in her own team and colleagues at work. E.g. publicly congratulating a female colleague on her achievements, standing up for other women employees.
- Anything without leadership commitment does not sustain over a period of time. It will promote good work culture and set the standards of behaviour for the entire department.
- Maintaining discipline and efficiency in work: Sooner or later other officials will appreciate it. It will also influence other female subordinate staff and can enthuse a new sense of spirit in them.
- Increase social interactions: She should encourage interaction of the male colleagues with her female colleagues to make them aware of each other's virtues and ability. This shall develop a sense of confidence and reliability in each other.
- Moral Persuasion: Along with the pictures of our national heroes like Mahatma Gandhi, she can adorn the walls of the office with portraits of our women bravehearts from history like Rani Laxmibai, Sarojini Naidu and Indira Gandhi. This will keep reminding the colleagues about the unparalleled contribution of women too in making our nation.
- Using emotional intelligence: To understand and manage your own emotions as well as those of others and thus take good decisions at work. It will also help in attaining a work-life balance.
- Determination to service: The foundational value of the organization should be a motivating factor for the employees. When things get settled, she can introduce minor changes.
- Inviting real-life achievers to the office: With the help of self-help groups, real-life achievers can be invited to the office so that female members can be motivated.
- The patriarchal society can be changed for the better with a gradual approach because when confronted directly, there may arise more complex issues. Since work culture is related to the attitude and behaviour of people, therefore, it takes time to change.
- Gender-sensitisation of male members can be done through debates and discussions. The persisting prejudices can be won over by social influence and persuasion, it can be won over. By courage of conviction/exemplary behaviour/being receptive to patriarchal nuances, over a period of time change can be introduced as Kiran Bedi did in the case of Tihar Jail reforms.