Anandavalli Mahadevan, Vice-Chancellor, Karpagam University, speaking at a workshop organised by the Centre for Women’s Studies of Avinashilingam University for Women in Coimbatore on Monday. Very few women make it to top administrative positions not because they lack the potential but because they choose not to, Anandavalli Mahadevan, Vice-Chancellor, Karpagam University, said here on Monday.
Inaugurating a workshop on “Capacity Building of Women Managers in Higher Education” at Avinashilingam University for Women, she said that as administrative responsibilities required longer working hours and overall attention, most women tended to believe that they would not be able to balance work and their responsibilities at home. One of the most prominent reasons why women shied away from shouldering top administrative posts was society’s attitude towards women’s leadership.
The opportunities given to men and women were unequal even in this day and age. Lack of facilities for child care and old age care were also factors that prevented women from realising their full potential on the work front. There was a need to build confidence among women that if they tried well enough, they could achieve both professional as well as personal goals, she said. It had been proved several times through surveys and studies that women were more democratic and inclusive in the decision-making process. They also scored better than men in effectiveness as an administrator.
An individual’s success at work depended on a combination of his or her intellectual as well as emotional quotients. Women depended on 80 per cent of their emotional quotient and 20 per cent on their intellectual quotient, which helped them in building interpersonal relations and excellent communication abilities. They also had better skills in motivating others when compared with men. They were flexible too. But, women either had no access to education, credit, health facilities and employment or were not aware of their ability to perform, Ms.Anadavalli said.
Emerging technology had enabled the concept of working from anywhere. These empowered working women to a large extent. And, when coupled with pro-women policies, society could create an upward mobility for women. However, in order to achieve their full potential, women needed to develop their communication skills, creative thinking abilities, build their confidence and hone their decision-making skills. Also, the society in general should be sensitised to gender equality and women as leaders, she said.
K.Hemalatha, Professor, Department of Mathematics, Anna University and Regional Co-ordinator of the programme, said the University Grants Commission had granted Rs.20 crore towards this programme, which was aimed at empowering women managers. Four workshops had been conducted throughout the State. Vice-Chancellor of Avinashilingam University Saroja Prabhakaran and Director of Centre for Women’s Studies, K.C.Leelavathy, took part.