“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” Brigham Young
It is a known fact that women dominate the private primary and secondary education space in India. For various reasons social and cultural reasons they have always found teaching to be a very practical career option. I personally think that having women in schools brings with it a certain feminine energy which is so essential for children to become well-rounded in their formative years.
Over the past decade managing schools has evolved from being largely an academic challenge to becoming a business challenge. This is where I have noticed that women tend to take a back seat. I can enlist innumerable schools where the women are the academic heads but the business of education is largely handled by their male counterparts. I have always wondered why most women shy away from the business aspect of education.
I grew up in a home dominated by women and even my organisation EduMedia has a majority of women in its workforce and its board of Directors. My experience of having worked with women for a large part of my life has been that they are more understanding and sensitive at the work space. More importantly they are fair and by and large not as corrupt as men are.
The irony is that even tough women dominate the school education space in India, most people who deal with schools are unanimous in their opinion that schools are amongst the most corrupt organisations in this country. There are too many grey areas in their systems and processes. Schools at times come across as being insensitive to the needs of children and the aspirations of parents. I suspect a reason for this could be the fact that most women educators are happy being academicians and are not too tuned in to the business of education.
I have no doubt in my mind that we need to bring in a lot more transparency in the way we run schools. If we have to achieve this more women will have to step up to the challenge and actively participate in the business of Education.
March 8 is celebrated across the world as Women’s Day. In an industry dominated by women this day should mean a celebration of leadership. India needs more women leaders and business women, not just women academicians!