“We met when we started teaching in this college, and have been friends since 2008. Although we work in different Departments, we make it a point to have lunch together – however harried or busy we are. Even in urban cities, there is a significant gender-based bias that women face in the workplace; it helps more than you’d think that we have each other to vent with. Our lunch-time conversations have been crucial in helping us find ways to deal with this bias.
Although it’s not the case with us, we have seen that most of our female colleagues are under pressure to prove themselves and justify their choice to work – mainly because of lack of support at home. Their families expect them back home at a certain point to take care of domestic chores and/or their husbands don’t approve of them being here at all. We have also faced situations where men have expressed their discomfiture over being in subordinate positions to us; we often see a general reluctance towards women in leadership roles, in fact.
That is not to say that things are bad here; six out of the fifteen departments in the college have female Heads. And our female staff is quite strong – it is clear in how favourably students respond to us. And as far as friendships go, we have made some really strong ones that make every bad day worth it!”