For the past few decades, women have been achieving more and more in the corporate world. We hear of women CEOs and don’t bat an eyelid. For several organisations, being led by a woman becomes a statement to be made in their favour. There is no doubt that are tremendous opportunities for women today. However, the sad truth of gender inequality is also a reality. There are myths associated with women workers that are so deep rooted that they have to be battled everyday!
- As a woman, we have to constantly prove our commitment to our work. People expect you to be distracted by the goings on in your personal life. A break-up, a new relationship, wedding, maternity, kids falling sick, kids school events, caring for the elderly in the family and all that. The most hypocritical aspect of this is that the very same things affect men as well and when they do, the men are applauded for maintaining a work-life balance. What I have found is that we women constantly need to validate that we are equally committed. If this means occasional late nights, sacrificing a thing or two at the family from sometimes, we must.
- “Get two women together and there is bound to be gossip”. People believe in this even at work. Men gossip too but women are branded as the gossipmongers! To change this perception, we need to be very cautious of the way we conduct ourselves. A bit of restraint in our interactions with colleagues during office hours goes a long way in establishing our impression. Beyond a point, you cannot do anything though.
- Lastly, I want to say that extend your support to other women at work. Form a community so that people can lean on each other. Such a community makes the office a pleasant place and also helps you when you might need someone.
- To the men, I would just wish that you realised those biases and not let them affect you! I worked in a four member team for a long time. The manager was a man. The rest of us were girls. We called ourselves Charlie’s Angels 😉 This team went on to change the way a lot of things were done in the company. So if this one guy could achieve huge business transitions with an all girl team, so can you. Not hiring someone just because she is a woman is wrong! There is no saying that the man you hire will stick around, be a good fit or achieve what you really want to do. Judge the potential candidates on skills and talent. Evaluate team members on performance and not gender.