What are 2-3 key barriers preventing access to leadership positions for women in the domains you work in?

I have worked primarily in media and branding/marketing before moving to the non-profit space. Sharing a couple of the challenges I have witnessed in these spaces:

  • Marketing is a lot of networking, and this requires a lot of after-work hours socialising that women typically don’t have the time or other resources for. Also, keeping in mind that these jobs already requires insane amounts of time and commitment. Deals are struck, bonuses are decided, and promotions are hinted at in these spaces that most women are excluded from.

  • In both of these fields, people are also expected to speak their minds and have opinions. But a lot of women struggle with being seen as too loud, bossy and even aggressive even if they are just being assertive. This, obviously, means they are not considered for leadership roles. Interestingly, at the same time, women are also sidelined in these fields for being too meek as well. It’s a tightrope walk!

I wonder if these apply across sectors. Do share your thoughts as well as barriers to leadership positions for women in your domain.


Hi Sumi,
I have felt the same . . inherent (so called) societal rules that each one of us imbibe as we grow is the first pull back . .
And also the wedding and motherhood are deemed as a hurdle by everyone. . I have come across conversations where they are re thinking the offer who is married saying in a year or two the female candidate will go on maternity leave . . And team leads saying that the team member efficiency has been affected post marriage . .
These personal life choices or events are deemed irrelevant or dont tend to make any difference when it comes to men being offered oppurtunities or their working . .
Would love to hear about others experiences. .


Yes, Shruthi. I have also noticed marriage and potential motherhood being discussed as barriers to hiring and promotions. While I have not personally experienced this, I know a lot of women who have struggled with this.