Women are identified as being mellow , soft , and emotional . It is sad how this perception of women has been one of the many areas quoted and unquoted during discussions expressions and many boardroom meetings.
Society has taken this a step further to say in order for me to make it I need to think like a man. This kind of thinking perpetuates the stereotypes that in order for me to make it , I need to think like a man. Does this mean a mans way of doing things is THE only way ? Even in the workplace ?
I have come to term this era as laws are made but people need to be taught how to change their thinking and mindsets. Most men , sadly in leadership positions, are not able to separate the female colleagues at work to how their own wives behave in their homes.
What I mean is, when I see my male colleagues and their behavior, my first instinct is never owh that’s how my husband behaves and handles things. I don’t let my personal relationships influence my perception of professional relationships. I think doing this sets one up for catastrophic disaster. And I think this contributes immensely to my current challenges within my environment. A Mensa point of reference of my professional behavior is measured against his personal experiences at home , it cannot be!!!
I think we first need to invest a lot in change management and understanding the role of women as colleagues. We must challenge this stereotype
Little things that men say , somehow innocently tend to perpetuate the stereotype. Sadly I don’t see men engaging in intentional conversations to asks themeselves how can we challenge the status quo and make the work environment conduct for the female leader. I am not even talking about kids demands and wanting to leave early or nanny issues and doctors appointments here
I’m talking about an ear in the boardroom. I think we are getting the seats but no one is willing to listen.
In my case I have observed with such curiosity a woman presenting at the audit committee and being rushed throughout her presentation with words like ” spare us the details” , when it is not stated anywhere that assume the document as read and present the highlights. Whilst learning the tricks of what and how things work , it cannot be just assumed that ladies are always detailed orientated and that women will drag in return boring the meetings and committees
I observed also how in the similar meeting , a man wil say something with not much context and no one will challenge that, almost like everyone has this silent code that “thou shall not touch” instead a complete energy and manner of challenging things will be taken when a woman presents her report.
I have also observed with such curiosity how a female leader feels they can challenge and demean another woman whilst doing the complete opposite to the man. Even though the woman has her ducks in the row , it always seemed like some point has to be proven around their inadequacy.
I personally have been asked , during a time when a critical post had been vacant and I was serving through acting, I was asked whether or not I planned my pregnancy, seeing that there was such a critical post ahead with promises of the god future. I withdrew my application based on some good analysis I see for myself.
It would turn out to be the perfect one given the circumstances
I am a woman, I am powerful,
I am not timid I am not inferior