2018-Mock-8: Case Study-5

What are the problems faced by women officers in male dominated departments as like the present situation?
The problems faced by women officers in male dominated departments are:

  • Authority: The orthodox and patriarchal mindset has reduced women to a second gender. When women break the glass ceilings and enter the male dominated areas they would face challenges as the male dominated arenas resist the authority of a female head due to deep rooted gender biases in the society.
  • Sexual harassment is also a primary area of concern and more prevalent in male-dominated workplaces for women.
  • Preconceived notions: Gender also contributes to differences between male and female. But these differences would be perceived as deficiencies and often the male tend to reduce the women to be unfit for the job. Hence women need to prove her suitability at every instance. Even a minor goof up will lead to prejudice taking over rationality to comment on suitability of female for the job.

Do you think you posses these strong qualities to manage a complete set of work force with all men and you alone being a women officer?
Yes, I think that I possess most of the qualities, if not all, required to manage male dominated workforce.  I being in service is a proof of my intellectual ability and calibre to do the task entrusted on me.
The key to dealing with resistance would be to using the social skills and emotional intelligence to remove the gender barrier and develop a relation of a colleague who is as efficient as any other person in the field unit.
By demonstrating the calibre and competitiveness will remove the preconceived notions of women being unfit for field tasks.
Suppose if some of your subordinate tries to take advantage of your gender and misbehave with you, how you will handle them?
If someone with preconceived notions tries to take advantage thinking a female supervisor will not be competent to know the intricacies of the work or will hesitate to question on lapses, I will send a strong message by effectively using the provisions under the service code to fix the responsibility for the lapses. If the lax attitude continues I will recommend higher authorities to take disciplinary action. This lax attitude if left unattended will adversely affect the work environment.
If he misbehaves with me I will complaint to the internal committee in the department about the misbehaviour. The issues of misbehaviour with women in work place must be handled with swift actions so that it would serve as a warning bell to other miscreants.
What measures you will take to infuse the value of women empowerment and gender sensitivity amongst your subordinates? {250 words, 20 Marks}
In order to infuse the value of women empowerment and gender sensitivity amongst my subordinates, I will take the following steps:

  • I will create efficient means of dialogue to overcome the prejudice about the suitability of women for a particular job.
  • Will look at a possibility of increasing the number of women in the department or get them on deputation so that there are more of interactions with female colleagues which will aid in removing of preconceived notions.
  • I as a female supervisor discharging my duties efficiently will break any notions about suitability of women in the mind of subordinates. Slowly their mind will get conditioned to overcome the orthodox or parochial mindset which belittles the women.
  • During social events and gatherings will use the opportunity to highlight the achievements of women who are breaking the glass ceilings and are shouldering responsibility as efficient as men to overcome the preconceived notions.

You are the city police commissioner and you have received a complaint from the people living in a locality that recently several groups of teenagers from your locality and surrounding localities are playing cricket in the local park. Because of this little place for is left for anyone especially senior citizens and children to sit and relax. Because of this senior citizens and small children are unable to use the park and moreover the young population is also using the park for other immoral activities which is causing problem to the local residents.

Question for UPSC Mains:
A new lady officer, Ramya has been transferred from district headquarter to the field unit of department of disaster management, which is a male – dominated sector. You are the officer-in charge of the field unit, has just come to know about this. The state government is anxious to move more women into all levels of the department to reduce the gender bias. She will be the first woman officer to get posting in the field unit. Upon learning this news, several employees of the field unit opined that they don’t like the idea of a woman supervising their work and pressurise you to use your connections in the district HQ to prevent Ramya’s posting here. They also felt that a rescue operation being a tough job is not suitable for the woman. But the department believed that women can play a valuable role during rescue operations due to empathy and sensitivity they have. At present their place and presence in the department is marginal. This gap in deficiency would be obliterated with more affirmative action like adequate representation of women from the grass-roots to the highest level of the department, greater access to education and training, improved HRD strategy focused on women participation and commitment of top management. a. What are the problems faced by women officers in male dominated departments as like the present situation? b. Do you think you posses these strong qualities to manage a complete set of work force with all men and you alone being a women officer? c. Suppose if some of your subordinate tries to take advantage of your gender and misbehave, how you will handle them? d. What measures you will take to infuse the value of women empowerment and gender sensitivity amongst your subordinates? {250 words, 20 Marks}

Published: April 20, 2018 | Modified:April 20, 2018

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