Cheat sheet Fact of Life: In a professional setting, Women Empowerment is a sensitive issue. We need women mentors who can guide us in choosing the right battles and help us in winning them.
The theme of this year’s Republic Day was Women Empowerment. For the first time an all women-contingent marched down the majestic Rajpath. I support Women Empowerment in all areas and levels, but there are a few concerns that I have.
#1. She’s a woman, that’s why she got the job!
This is an accusation that came from a woman friend!
My friend, who is working for an MNC, made a flippant remark that her Manager is hiring more women, just to promote diversity in her team. I told her,’ Well, the woman must be qualified to do that job. Nobody gives you a job just because you are a woman. It is not that your Manager picked her off the street.’
This is the common opinion when it comes to promoting diversity, in any field. People often forget that women did not pass different exams to become Engineers (or any other profession). The exams were not easier for women. They have been through and were evaluated by the same education system.
Women Empowerment helps us in getting our foot into the door. Being hired or not depends solely on our merit and the value we bring into that organization.
#2. I am not getting promoted because I am a woman
My friend also mentioned that she was not getting promoted, even though she works hard. Whereas her male colleague, who seems like he does nothing much, gets promoted.
I don’t know if her accusation is right or wrong. The only way to clarify her bias would be to discuss about her performance with her Manager, the Manager’s expectations and why he/she thinks that my friend didn’t meet those expectations. If she believes that she did not get promoted in spite of meeting the expectations, she should take it to the next level.
Before going to the court, make sure you have the right defence. The negotiation has to be based on facts, not on conjectures.
#3. Women who accept the glass ceiling
In the book, ‘Lean In’, Sheryl Sandberg discussed about the challenges faced by women in their careers. For example, women’s opinions are overlooked in meetings; women don’t negotiate their salaries, women don’t come forward for promotions because of the conflicting responsibilities of a working woman and a mother.
There will be gender biases in any organization. I am concerned that a few of us will accept these biases and take it as a way of life.There are many successful women, who have no idea what this glass ceiling is about. These women pushed forward on merit. If they felt they have the right qualifications for a role, they interviewed for it and got that role.
In a professional setting, Women Empowerment is a sensitive issue. We need women mentors who can guide us in choosing the right battles and help us in winning them.
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