The Glass Ceiling in Georgia

The International Women's Association organized a panel discussion on Glass Ceiling for women in Georgia and around the world. Petra Benkö, president of the association and wife of the Austrian Ambassador, led the lively discussion during which women from different backgrounds were talking about their business experiences as women.

The panelists were Louise Vinton (Head of UNDP in Europe and Central Asia), Ceren Yazgan (Turkish Ambassador), Nino Ivanishvili (Dean of GIPA (Peruvian anti-corruption group)), Magda Magradze (director Millennium Challenge Georgia) and Professor Ekatarine Sania.

The glass ceiling is the unreachable barrier women face in their career when they want to rise at the top level. Indeed, women still occupy a very small percentage of management positions, even though more women have graduated from university than men.

Mrs. Yazgan explained that the glass ceiling begins with stereotypes. She said that we need to stop assuming that we know how other people live and who they are before actually knowing them. She also stressed the importance of equal opportunities for men and women.

Louisa Vinton said that she was glad that parity was respected among the UNDP. She then explained that women tend to wait for recognition when they actually need to demand it. She also emphasized the importance of female solidarity and explained that during her career, being pushed by other older women helped her gain confidence and achieve what she did. 

Nino Ivanishvili was very inspiring and explained that she eventually became a journalist because she was determined to fight for democracy and for voices that could not be heard. She affirmed that “there is no ceiling or barrier that cannot be broken” and that being strongly resolute in achieving our own goals is the only possible way.

Magda Magradze focused on the gap that exists between women and men in the STEM fields. She explained that women usually do not pursue a carrier in these fields even though they have studied in STEM. This is due to stereotypes that tend to shut women out the engineering world for example. According to her, families should be educated as parents often have a great impact on the choice of their children’s field of education. Girls need to see every career possibility when they are at school. They need to understand that they can become humanity professionals just like civil engineers if they wish to.

Finally, the scientific professor Ekatarine Sania talked about her experience of being the only women in her class when she was studying at university. However, she also had a positive discourse arguing that as a professor, she sees more and more women who enroll in scientific fields and she thinks that Georgia is going in the right direction.


Text and photo by Gabrielle Colchen

08 March 2019 19:10