Last updated:

June 2, 2024


 min read

Unveiling the Reality of Women in Leadership

Explore the realities of women in leadership, the challenges they face, and the inspiring examples of women breaking the glass ceiling in various fields.

Reviewed by
Sneha Toppo
"A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. 

Women in power has always been a hot topic of debate between people who are struggling to reach a position of power and people who already have those positions. Gender preferences though, play a prodigious role in who gets to the top and who is able to sustain the power, prestige and responsibility that comes with it.

“Breaking the Glass Ceiling” has often been a phrase used when a woman comes into power at any organization or company or rises to become the first citizen of a country. Let’s explore some fine examples of women in power: Katherine Graham became the first CEO in the world of The Washington Post in 1973, setting an example for the future generation of females to follow. Indira Nooyi, Kiran Bedi, Smt. Pratibha Patil are some examples within India to have showcased the breaking of the ceiling.


While celebrating such wins are essential, a daunting realisation sets the stage for learning about the true realities of women in leadership. Some factors include: 

Evolutionary Period

  1. The “Hunter-Gatherer” syndrome: During evolution, researchers found out a pattern amongst early neanderthals and even animals wherein the male species would go out to hunt/forage for food, while the women kept the caves warm and cozy, prepared meals and took care of their offsprings. Thus leading to be one of the evolutionary traits to have been carried forward in a fully developed, humanised world. 
  2. Ancient texts: A lot of ancient texts spanning across various faiths have tended to show males  as figures of authority as compared to females who have to take on household/caretaker roles. (Excluding figures of worship). 

Modern world challenges

  1. Gender discrimination: Women in leadership still face discrimination with regard to their skills, responsibilities and position of authority and are often termed as “soft-natured”, "timid,” and “not bold” as compared to their male-counterparts.  
  2. Unrealistic expectations: Being a woman by default means a human who dons multiple hats. For centuries together, women have been expected to carry on multiple responsibilities such as household chores, primary caregiver to the child and the whole household alike and to have learnt vocational skills. In the modern world, women in leadership are still expected to handle their job roles along with household responsibilities and are additionally expected to reproduce and manage an entire house. Exceptions to domestic roles are seldom welcomed and often chided upon.  
  3. Abuse: Emotional and sexual abuse have often been reported by more women supervisors than in women employees, says a 2020 women at workplace research article. Repeated occurrences of sexual offences have led to women refraining from speaking their minds openly and confidently and also backtracking from applying to higher posts.  
  4. Imposter Syndrome: Not feeling like they are important enough or feeling unheard and unacknowledged in most aspects of life, women experience a significant amount of self-doubt in their abilities and skill sets to thrive in leadership roles. 

In conclusion, addressing the subtle yet significant issues facing women in leadership can foster awareness and create safer, more supportive environments, mentally, emotionally and physically. It is an essential step towards successfully and securely breaking the glass ceiling. Fantastic examples of women who have fought and sustained in leadership spaces are: Sudha Murthy, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Indira Nooyi, P.V Sindhu and the co-founder of Rocket Health- Ritika Sinha among others. 

Fighting unfair realities and continuing to empower women towards leadership paves the way for a brighter, kinder future! 

Empower yourself and join the movement toward gender equality in leadership. Book a consultation with Rocket Health today and take the first step toward realizing your leadership potential!