Article (April-2017)


Drop the labels, please!

Dr. Aparna Sharma

Designation : -   Board Member, Thought Leader

Organization : -   Best Selling Author & Motivational Speaker, Mumbai


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Our society lives by Stereotypes! Now, that we acknowledge that the world & society is constantly evolving, I had thought that by now in the professional world the story would be different.

As I was growing up, have heard of various stereotypes even in the professional world like for the role of a secretary, a woman would be best; teaching profession is good for women since they can take care of families well due to better work life balance; a guy is the primary bread earner in a family - a woman's income is only supplementary; its okay for a man to be aggressive, if a woman asserts herself, she is aggressive which is not acceptable etc….

While some of these still remain or their degrees vary…. there are many more stereotypes that keep coming in, to add to the professional potpourri!

Very recently, a close friend shared some new ones… I had not heard of them before nor did such thoughts ever cross my mind.

In the Indian context, one strong one was that you must write a book or turn an author only once you have decided to hang your boots in the corporate world either thru superannuation or even before; Another one, if you wrote a book during your corporate career, it was an indication that you wanted to hang your boots & become an academician!!!! I found these really funny. My friend too, that's why she discussed these with me.

In my view, any practising manager may want to share his/her experiences for the benefit of others (students, practitioners, academicians etc) by writing a book. Infact, they are trying to create a body of knowledge which will be a ready reckoner & help everyone immensely. They straddle between their highly demanding jobs & yet have the zeal to contribute.

I can't understand the connection between authoring a book & retirement or the label of turning an academician!!! Can you?

The society or the world at large has strong perceptions which have become stereotypes & we try to label people & fix them into frames.

What I told my friend, is that I find such practising managers as versatile & multi talented who rise above their so called professional defined roles to make an impact. They are rare & need to be cherished & encouraged!

Point to ponder & act- Can we drop the labels, please? & let people be!