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Archive for June, 2009

GLASS-CEILING

The closing ceremony was spectacular with the end remark by Professor Muhammed Zafar Iqbal. He must have marked that there were only two ladies among the sixty two participants. Right, I had been attending a four days training workshop by APNIC on Internet management and security issues. Missing in action, where are the women? I echoed him. Coming from a background of sysadmin, network designer and security specialist for pioneering the military network, I do have networking with loads of networkers; perhaps two are ladies out of best five I know of. But, in reality things are little different. The women who enter the largely male economics profession, I am aware of the barriers women facing in corporate world. And, yes, women who fight by themselves have a longer mileage.

For instance, my wife who is working as assistant vice president in a bank, equally hard working, manages the whole backoffice operation, endeavours to break the glass ceiling theory, does face intense battle front end, all round. I personally have seen the glass ceiling hypothesis exist with a larger gender wage gap at senior positions of the wage distribution. Much of the time it is observed that, more qualified women may be offered lower wages than men at the equilibrium. This occurs for instance in a competitive model of wage determination where employers assume gender-specific probabilities like … will she able to continue for long or not? As much of an onlooker, I wanted to help my wife resolving issues when she is facing huge wage discrimination with her male colleagues, but she refuges and has urged repeatedly not to intervene … it’s her battle, not mine! I stayed away.

I guess, it was back in 1986, the Wall Street Journal came up with a phrase that has come to symbolize a variety of barriers faced by thousands of women reaching the ladder. As I had discused earlier, the phrase “glass ceiling” represents a variety of inequalities that prevent qualified women from advancing into mid and senior management pyramids. In Bangladesh, acording to Zafarullah, H. (2000), only 5.1 percent of administrative and managerial positions are occupied by women. Should she feel lucky?

Will she be able to pull on, alone?

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Here’s what I wrote before joining BTRC. Though I drafted it in 2006 but it was published in Daily Prothom Alo in the first half of 07. I wanted to do some justice while visualizing IP Telephony Licensing framework, the policy had few shortcomings and we made some workarounds. We do have limitations, but have worked harder outflanking stalemate situation as they occurred.

We recently have published corporate IP Telephony guidelines. Unlike international VoIP, corporate VoIP is not simply about making cheap international calls over the Internet. In Bangladesh, corporate can’t call international as they have to be routed through the legitimate international gateways, occur to be four. Instead, it aims to replace the proprietary PBX phone systems and dedicated voice networks enterprises have relied on for years with standards-based call processing servers or appliances that run digitized voice and call control over the packet-based IP data network. NGN is the future.

Others may be signaling that they think they may see light at the end of the tunnel, even though it appears we still have some distance to go before we’re out of the dark completely.

 I am very optimistic when I see loads of aspiring engineers in BTRC. Someday they will make us proud.

[No organizational viewpoint is depicted. Author’s only]

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