“Get on that field and play,” Kralinger says, “and often, you get to change the field.” Enabling women to go beyond the societal restrictions and push the limits imposed upon them by the society, the ‘Women Who Empower’ symposium at the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex at Northeastern University was conducted with a motto in mind: to make woman question patriarchy. True, women seem to have a presence in almost all the fields today, but the question to ask is whether this presence is really felt. Even with the success stories of inspirational women that we have, gender discrimination seems to be far from being history. The glass ceiling is a reality that women face even today: from being rendered invisible in corporate meetings to treated with scepticism for a promotion, the race is definitely not the same for the female gender.
The symposium was significant in marking off the Women’s History Month on the Boston campus of Northeastern University. Bridget van Kralinger is the senior vice president at IBM and has had an enriching career with varied experiences as a researcher, psychologist, and business and technology consultant. But above all, she is a leader. She shared some of her wisdom on how to be a good leader, talking about how to play it cool and the things to keep in mind while taking important decisions.
The symposium had women from varied walks of life. They shared their experiences with the audience, inspiring each other with the stories. The issues discussed included the financial implications of sexual harassment and gender inequality faced at the workplace.
The glass ceiling may have started to have cracks but it still remains as real as ever. The aim of the event was to shatter it completely for all the young women to come.
N Malavika Mohan