Case Study 1
Amrita, a young IAS officer, has joined a government department. After working for a while in this department, she realizes that position of women staff is subservient to male staff. Male staff don’t want to take orders from senior women officers. Moreover, women are not taken on serious departmental projects and are derided, and even discouraged even from attempting such a project.
Amrita through informal channels comes to know that even the Head of the Department is of the same mindset and believes that women should not be sent to this department.
Discuss the course of action Amrita should take so that the work culture becomes conducive for women.
Suggest the course of action that Amrita should take
Discuss why there is a need to change the work culture
Course of action
Leading by example: Try to bring gender diversity and gender sensitivity in your own team and colleagues at work. (e.g. publicly congratulating 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 behavior for the entire department.
Maintaining discipline in the 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.
Be receptive and broad minded: There can be prejudice at the workplace which is a reflection of societal prejudices. Thus gradual approach will help in bringing changes at workplace.
Being emotionally intelligent: It will help to understand and manage own emotions as well as those of others and thus taking 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 office: With the help of self help groups, real life achievers can be invited to office so that female members can be motivated.
Since work culture is related to attitude and behavior of people therefore it takes time to change. It is also related to ego of male members which cannot be forced to change but through social influence and persuasion, it can be won over.
The patriarchal society can be changed for the better with a gradual approach because when confronted directly, there may arise more complex issues.
A person should not think of revolutionizing organization rather he/she should himself/herself become an agent of change. By courage of conviction/exemplary behavior/being receptive to patriarchal nuances, over a period of time change can be introduced like Kiran Bedi did in the case of Tihar Jail reform.