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     Volume 1 Issue 7| September 17, 2006 |


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Academician Speaks

Female students can do excellent work in our corporate world

Feeda Hasan Shahed

There is a general tendency in the society that business studies, and subsequently the corporate world, are places that are male-dominated. Some even go to the extent of thinking that these should be male-dominated. Well, Ms. Farzana Lararukh is someone who certainly does not agree with any of these notions.

Ms. Lararukh, an Associate Professor of Finance Department at the University of Dhaka, has been a stern believer in women empowerment in our society. As a dynamic academician herself, she feels that women employees and executives in the corporate world at present are enjoying the desired status in their jobs which was difficult some 8-10 years back. The reason is, women are much committed to their jobs just the way they were committed to their studies previously. Thus they have earned their due appreciation from their higher authorities.

But doesn't she feel that the required liberty is still missing? Ms. Lararukh now clearly makes a point: "Let me then say what I think about liberty. You want your name to be flourished, but you won't do the hard work for that this is not liberty at all! My view is simple. If I can show some performance, if I put my best effort holding some responsibility, I need not worry about liberty."

What about the present scenario of women empowerment in our country? When asked, Ms. Lararukh narrated some of the problems that exist. One key problem is a woman's failure of proper coordination between her family and her job. Family's influence will always be there both positive and negative. But what is needed is the mental alertness to coordinate between the two. One small example is the issue of office timing. Because of this, women have to adjust their home-making activity with their office time. Transferable jobs create another hazard for female executives. It isn't easy for anyone to stay away from family for whatever professional matter it might be and at the same time please her family members. In such case, it is the family members who need to come forward to cooperate.

Ms. Lararukh hereby doesn't forget to mention a key factor in enhancing women empowerment. That is, a good number of our female students actually do not possess independent decision-making power when it comes to their choice of graduation course. Parents influence a girl to think and rethink their decisions. If the father is an engineer, he wants his daughter to go for engineering. If there is a successful banker in the family, a girl is told to choose BBA or MBA. 'I strongly favour liberty in this area. A girl must be encouraged to choose what is good and interesting to her; she should decide her career herself,' says Ms. Lararukh. 'And the good sign is, things are changing.'

She points out the fact that women have successfullyadapted themselves with professions like journalism. They are shining as entrepreneurs with banks providing special loans for them.

She narrates that female students have been attracted towards Business Studies besides their male counterparts due to the changing trends of society. It is no longer a so-called male dominated discipline in any university. Girls today are more vibrant and challenge-loving. They are ready to face challenges in the job field just like the male employees. She mentions how the ratio of female and male students in Business Studies has now increased to 40-60 from 20-80 in 1987. Keeping pace with this ratio in the academic arena, the number of qualified and skilled female employees and executives has increased in the job arena too. Ms. Lararukh obviously terms it as a success.

Looking back at her successful career, Ms. Farzana Lararukh has a genuine advice for today's girls: 'Take your academic courses seriously and try to be creative. Right after that, think of relating your classroom knowledge with your future professional career. That's the way to success. If so many women could have flourished in their respective areas, why can't you as well?'

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