It’s that time of the year when women are back in the limelight – special sessions for women, boardroom discussions for a women friendly workplace and women are basking in this moment of glory! And why not! Unfortunately the buzz dies down and it’s business as usual once 8th of March is over.
But this year I have decided to not let it all die down – at least not on my blog.
Why have just one Women’s Day! How about a whole women’s month and even beyond!
With this in mind, all the content I post across all my social media this month will be focussed on skill development for women. It’s about making the work world better for women – and men and the organisations are also active participants in it. So in a way – this is for everyone.
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #BalanceForBetter – a call for creating a more gender balanced world. And when I thought about creating special content for Women’s Day, I thought why not start the first blog post with this very topic – things we all can do to create a more gender equal world. Let’s begin with the workplace.
The website for International Women’s Day also says:
Collective action and shared responsibility for driving a gender-balanced world is key
And to make this possible, we not just need to take action ourselves, but motivate others to do so and amplify the reach of the message on social media. Keeping this in mind, I have zeroed in on a few areas and action points in each where we should focus on to make a more gender balanced world:
1. How to change communication patterns at the work place:
– Stop calling women terms like female, chick, dear, sweety. Give the respect another colleague deserves
– Stop saying things like “She must be on her period”. Listen to the reason why she is upset
– Stop jumping in when a woman is still speaking in a meeting
– Stop using qualifiers like Umm..I’m not sure…I feel… Speak with certainty
– Learn assertiveness and logical communication
– Don’t make it personal or emotional
How else can you change the way people communicate at the workplace to make it more gender neutral?
Read more on how to become more assertive here
2. How can organisations help in creating gender parity:
– Create systems where housekeeping duties are uniformly distributed
– Try to balance genders in project teams
– Create a mentoring program specifically for women
– Groom and train potential women for senior management positions
– Rethink gender biases you might be fostering through your communication
What else can you do in an organisation to help foster an equal world?
3. How can women change and move towards more gender parity
I have realised that there are so many things that women themselves can do to be more equal to men:
– Stand tall
– Sit at the head of the table
– Stand up to speak
– Walk with a purpose
– Don’t over apologise
– Refuse housekeeping duties
– Learn the art of negotiation
– Dress the part
– Take up space with an expansive posture
– When someone interrupts, take the control back
Learn more about how to gain confidence through power pose
4. How can men help in creating a more gender balanced world
– Don’t assign coffee/minutes of the meeting duties to women – unless the men do it too
– Listen patiently when a woman has a point to make
– If others jump in – and you are in-charge – ask them to wait for their turn
– Give credit for ideas where it is due – even if it is a woman
– Don’t label women – she is too nice/so bossy or worst, she is just a woman
5. How can women support other women to achieve gender balance
– Mentor at least one woman in your team
– Commend other women publicly when they come up with ideas
– Support each other during meetings
– Don’t make it harder for other women because you came up the hard way
6. How can women claim more space in the boardroom
– Arrive early to meetings
– Choose a seat where the action is going to be centered
– Speak your points with clarity. Don’t dither
– If someone takes away the baton while you were speaking, thank them when they are done and continue from there. Don’t let them hijack your idea
– Channel frustration/anger constructively. Instead of venting, try giving a logical reason why you are upset
What are a few ways in which you will work towards gender parity in your life or work?
As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be posting a lot more similar content on social media. Feel free to connect with me on Linkedin to ensure you don’t miss any.
And even if you are unable to keep track of it all, sign up for my newsletter here which will have all the best content from this month