Tag Archives: woman power

[Guest Post]: Stilletos on Glass Floors

11 Nov

This is the first guest post on my external blog. The following post has been written by a very close friend of mine, Puja. She stands for the modern, suave and independent woman of today and presents an extremely interesting analogy to state the penchant with which the woman of the twenty first century perceives, persists, emotes and sustains.

Read on..



I remember watching fashion shows on television as a kid sneaking away from the omnipresent parental discretion whenever possible; however the conditions were propitious only rarely. I was always fascinated by the glitter and the shimmer; and what attracted me most was the footwear that the beautiful ladies wore – pumps, flats, wedges, sandals, stilettos and more. I found stilettos the most interesting in the entire footwear species as it tested the model’s skills to walk at such “heights” without flinching a nerve and look so relaxed all the time, an achievement in itself for the lesser mortals unexposed to these experiences.

What always amazes me is the way they are able to maintain their balance and walk with such élan on the ramp with literally Eiffel Towers under their feet! Forget these graceful ladies; even regular college and office girls are able to manage the daunting task, (for a lot of people), effortlessly. The higher the heel of your stiletto, higher it is on the attractiveness scale and also on the risk factor, be it the ramp or the road.

In deeper sense, these high heeled ornaments, symbolize strength to me. They show the inexplicable intellect and pluck that the woman of this era flaunt. I very closely relate this to how the lady corporate honchos manage their work with immense competition from their male counterparts, having to face the biases and most of the times being judged as someone who is more relationship oriented and are tagged as too soft to take harsh decisions and thus being ineffective. Yet, they are able to walk on the tightrope of the professional and personal life beautifully (in most cases) and have carved a niche for themselves in the corporate world and in our minds.

The task of the ladies at the CXO level is as good as walking on a ramp with numerous spectators and lot of expectations from the designer, just that the ramp is replaced by the vast responsibilities, spectators by the stakeholders, and the designer by the organization as a whole. The only difference is on the ramp you have to ensure you do not lose your balance and collapse, and in the corporate world you have to break the glass ceiling to reach the highest echelons of success. Here, the high heel is you arsenal of the knowledge, skills, traits and motives that you have or have developed over a period of time. The more you are experienced, the taller is your stiletto’s heel. The names which come to my mind at this point are Ms Chanda Kochhar, Ms Shikha Sharma, Ms Naina Lal Kidwai and Ms Ekta Kapoor. All these lady leaders have been able to give their best shots to their work, managing their lives well and being extremely successful.

We all are aware of those wannabes in the ‘stilettos’ class. The ones who put on an accent just to flaunt their attitude, those who may not really have enough to carry on the expensive lifestyle that they depict, but surely have a lot to flaunt – a fancy car, expensive clothes, et al. But what comes with the high status is a sense of responsibility towards their work and completely committing themselves to their cause. It just reinforces the fact that those who have achieved these great heights by their own metal know how to carry themselves on the glass floors, those who don’t, fail miserably.

An example I would want to point out would be Ms Indra Nooyi, who although has achieved great heights in her professional life but her personal life hasn’t been that well managed. The way a model if not able to balance on her heels may end up falling down and taking away the charm of the show, similarly a lady honcho may also not be able to cope up with biases inspite of being equally capable, may not be able to manage this pressure and end up burning out in the process and again show all the existence of the glass ceiling.

At the end all that is left with them is a plethora of crushed glass shards, each one showing the reflection of their own souls. To conclude, I believe that with success, comes responsibilities, you ought to have a sense of both, to be able to walk on glass floors.

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