Empowering Women in the Workplace
I’ve met so many successful women in my life - entrepreneurs, corporate heads, writers, models and successful homemakers. Yes, who says success is associated with money only? Managing any aspect of life with finesse is a benchmark of success. Isn’t it? When we talk about women, I feel #EveryWomanIsALeader - juggling between many activities, giving more than 100% of their capabilities and inspiring everyone around them to excel.
And, women these days are breaking the shell and reaching the areas where their presence was not registered earlier. It fills my heart with pride, but sadly, even after acknowledging and lauding her achievements, not much is done to encourage women. We pass judgements - Don’t you think she is neglecting her family for her career? She got promoted because she is close to her boss… such remarks are made without bothering to understand a woman’s hard work and dedication. If we want men to outdo others in any field, we must stop passing such remarks and start encouraging them. And such a work must start by providing a conducive environment - a family should support a female in pursuing her dreams and an organization should have facilities and rules to further this cause.
To empower female employees in the true sense, first, there should be no gender bias. I’ve witnessed that no matter what people say, men tend to treat female employees with certain reservations. I was once refrained from organizing a meeting in a five-star, as running and coordinating with so many parties is a male's job. Even when I started my business, I was not taken seriously as I was a young girl in a male dominated business. We need to shed this mentality, work is not gender based. Here in the US, I see women driving buses at late hours. We need such a progress in India too. With this, I think, comes the point of safety. We need to make sure that women feel safe. But that is quite debatable, sometimes we overdo the concern of safety. I read a status few months back where one of my friends was not allowed to work late and complete her assignment as there was no male present in the office. It was her company’s policy of male accompanying a female in company’s cab back home. Now, this kind of safety is pretty restrictive. Rather than fostering growth, it is putting chains on our freedom, flexibility to work and compete with our counterparts.
As far as working for a single woman is concerned it is slightly easier, but when a woman gets married, she has added responsibilities. In our country, where taking care of our families is ingrained in us, I feel the flexibility of working hours will surely go a long way in boosting female participation in all organizations. Booming BPO industry is a proof of it. Lastly, but not the least, every organization must have a Mentor Program for female employees. It would help them to channelize their strengths, to assist them in a tough career phase and guiding them to progress. A good mentor program can change the way women are perceived in an organization. Also, it will help in resolving any issues at work that a woman faces with her colleagues and her bosses. As the saying goes - women don’t leave companies, they leave their bosses. Such a program will have many advantages, both for the female employees and the organization itself.
If we can provide a conducive environment to growth to women in our organizations, I am very sure we will have many more Women Leaders who can bring positive changes and with this our society can grow in leaps and bounds.
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