Women scientists aim to be better managers also

Skill enhancement

Women scientists aim to be better managers also

Breaking the myth that only men can be better scientists and managers, 15 female scientists from various organisations in India have taken up a course in management at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. This step will help them climb further in the ‘promotion ladder’ in their respective organisations. 

‘Advance Techno-Management Programme for Women Scientists’, which started on December 23 last year will continue till January 25, at the MDI campus. The programme, designed under the ‘Disha programme for women in Science’ scheme 2013-14, is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India. It aims to enhance the role of women scientists in research and development in the public sector and the scope of women’s contribution in science and technology.

Scientists from organisations like Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Directorate of Maize Research, Jawahar Lal Nehru Bharatiya Chikitsa Evum, Ayurveda Mental Health Research Institute, Defence Researh and Development Organisation (DRDO), Indian Council of Agricultural Research and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre are participating in this programme.

One of the scientists, Lakshmi VM, scientist/engineer, S F, ISRO, says, “This management course will help me in my promotion as in upper levels the percentage of managerial skills are more important than technical skills. I am already doing a half-managerial job and once I do this course, it will help me gain a position in my organisation and I will be able to manage people right from the technical department to the senior scientists.”

Talking about the hardships faced by female scientists, Lakshmi, adds, “The situation is getting better now and more women are entering this field. Due to family issues and marriages, women drop out of these jobs. After marriage, they have to shift with their spouses and hence, their career takes a backseat. But now the mindsets are changing and more and more women are becoming focused and career-oriented.”

Another female scientist, Harshika Srivastava, scientist-D, DRDO, seconds Lakshmi on this matter, “This will give us a breakthrough in a man’s world. A course in management will help me rise and gain a more important position in my organisation and help me excel as a leader.”

The training programme is an integration of science with management discipline. Women scientists from different levels are attending sessions on various subjects like women leadership, role of IT in scientific organisation, role of social networking for research, corporate social responsibility in research and development organisation and conflict and negotiation management.
It is a known fact that almost 100 per cent higher level positions are occupied by men and women have to just be happy with middle-level positions in the organisations. Sharing views on this, Josna Susan Joy, scientist/engineer, S F, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, says, “Although being a woman I have never faced any kind of discrimination and people do respect our ideas, but still the fact of the matter is that the higher-level positions, like director and deputy director are all taken up by males. So, I think this course will definitely benefit me in the future.”

The objective of the programme is to sensitise the participants about the relevant  issues in science, technology and innovation policies and to create an understanding in management of R&D institutions. This development programme also aims to create awareness among the mass and to enhance the scope for women participation in science and technology. 

Vinod Kumar Gupta, Dean, MDI  is happy that they have been successful in bringing these women scientists to their campus and given them an opportunity to prove their mettle. “Most of them are really happy to get this exposure because management skills are very important in R&D too. It has been like an eye-opener for them and we hope to get even more response next year.”

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