What Tata Starbuck’s Female CEO Thinks About #Women in the #Workplace!

starbucks-IndiaInk-blog480Here’s yet another brilliant example of how misogyny is internalized even among the educated, savvy, career-oriented women occupying powerful positions in India!

The CEO of Tata Starbucks Avani Davda, the first female CEO of the company, when asked in an interview about why women form only 15% of Starbucks retail outlet workforce said, “Women need to appreciate that meritocracy cannot be given up for diversity.”

In other words, the reason Tata Starbucks has such few women working in their stores is because the company finds women overwhelmingly incompetent.  Indeed too incompetent to even make coffee in an automatic coffee maker, and pour it into a cup for a customer at one of their stores, or sell them one of their over-priced coffee mugs or coffee packets over the counter.

Then Davda is asked about women’s careers and jobs outside of home and family.  And to that she says, “Every body today wants to work. But if all start working how will we know our children?”

Translation: Women are too incompetent to serve coffee at our shops, and why should they want to do that any way? They are better tied to the kitchens at home. After all who is going to cook, clean and feed the kids? Surely you don’t expect men (fathers and husbands) to do that! That’s a woman’s job!

Well, Well!  Ms. Davda is surely hand-picked by the old-boys-club!  Or is this the professional version of the Indian mother-in-law who beats up on her daughter-in-law and hates grand-daughters? And don’t miss the sign Tata Starbucks has up  in the above photo of one of their Indian outlets! “We hold ourselves to a higher standard. Yours!”  In a misogynistic society, that quote must hold a nugget of truth!

But again,  it is said that women’s empowerment in India will happen only we get more women into positions of power! When we get 33% of seats in government filled by women.  And yet it is exactly this kind of misogynistic attitude that is consistently true of women occupying most seats of power in India, and not just in corporate houses, but also in government and in politics.  It is not till women at the grassroots level challenge this kind of misogyny, from both men and women (specially women!) in positions of power, that we’ll see change.

If this makes you as angry as it makes me, join The 50 Million Missing Campaign to end the misogyny driven female gendercide in India on Facebook and Twitter!

website: www.50millionmissing.info 

“Women need to appreciate that meritocracy cannot be given up for diversity ,

“Women need to appreciate that meritocracy cannot be given up for diversity ,

“Women need to appreciate that meritocracy cannot be given up for diversity ,

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  1. Women are naturally incompetent.They are financial burden.They need to prove their mettle in this world by achieving something then only are they supposed to have equal rights as men or even be considered as human beings.This level misogyny and sexism is embedded in Indian Psyche.
    my mom once commented on an Indian State that is known to have a good population of girls .She said that the state is not economically well off because of the higher population of women.I am not sure if she was right about the economical situation of state.But she equated poverty with women.She credits intelligence and presence of mind of any man to his gender.Time and again I have heard —Oh he is a boy and boys are expert in all these things and that things.
    She is one of those Indian women who have internalized misogyny.My mom is a homemaker. Avani Davda is just the professional version of my mom.

    Indian women first need to challenge their own misogynist way of thinking.Then only can we expect a change outside.

    • Swati, your mother has her finger on the right data, but her reasoning is inverted 🙂 The 2011 census for e.g. clearly shows that the sex ratio for girls is best in the poorest 20% and it gets worse as you go up the economic ladder. It’s worst for the top most 20% This pattern is seen at state levels, village, town, city levels, and among neighborhoods. But it’s not the women who make the economy rich or poor here. Rather it is the rich who have more reason to get rid of females — be it through abortion, infanticide or dowry murders. That’s because the more wealth a patriarchal society has, the invested it is in ensuring that men own and control it. Having daughters, specially in the educated classes means they are more likely to know their rights to parental inheritance and fight for it. So it’s the wealthier who have more reason to get rid of them. Similarly a divorced daughter in law, is more likely to fight to get dowry etc back or file for alimony. There’s more reason to get rid of her too! In states like Kerala and the NE earlier the gender ratio was normal. But what changed? People keep saying Amartya Sen says they have higher education level. But education has increased. The only thing that has changed is that earlier property passed from women to women in these states, and even if men dominated in reality, there still was reason for women to be around, to ensure that the men could access property or control of it through the women. When it changed to patriarchal systems, the women became dispensable. Now Kerala and NE have plummeting sex ratios! Also see this http://genderbytes.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/why-education-and-economics-are-not-the-solution-to-indias-female-genocide/

  2. G3

     /  May 5, 2014

    Kind of reminds me of Malcom X’s “House Negro vs field negro” clip :

  3. Reblogged this on iheariseeilearn.


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