Check out 16 Return-To-Work Programs In India For Ambitious Women Like You!
There are certainly some differences between men and women. How you handle these without being hurtful is important.
I was having this conversation with a dear friend who had to attend a full day training. She left her 10 month son alone at home with the nanny but requested me to babysit just in case of an emergency. She was nervous as she was still working from home and had never left her son alone for the whole day.
I gladly agreed, I was relatively free and I could do it. When she came back, she told me that in a classroom where she was the only woman, she felt that nobody was listening to what she was saying. And this triggered all the books that I had read, articles I had shared earlier on how women have to fight doubly hard. Especially after motherhood.
This piece is for the women I know and I don’t, and for the men who would like to support them – hope it changes them in some ways as it has changed me over the years. Some facts, conditioning and history that we need to consciously change.
Fact: A study published in the journal NeuroImage has found that there are major differences in the way male and female brains process voice sounds. Apparently, the vibration and number of sound waves in our voice makes it harder for people to decipher what we’re saying, even not like what they hear. Whereas it is easier to understand men’s voices that are not as complex as women’s.
What we should do: Every time somebody asks us women to shut up, don’t. Speak in a lower baritone and speak slower. In offices, men and women should sharpen their listening skills and not cut each other out till the time the speaker has completed his/her point.
Fact: More of codes written by women are approved on GitHub, provided the gender is not disclosed. And this is from a minuscule 12% of women coders on the platform.
What we should do: Remove this reverse bias consciously. It is deeply rooted in all our minds, and unless we remind ourselves every time not to consider gender as a parameter to judge work, this issue will not go away. It has been already proven that a more diverse workforce is more productive and efficient. When we know this, why do we have gender as a filter in our minds?
Fact: A Harvard study shows women participate lesser in a class room setting and they do not ask as many questions as men.
What we should do: Encourage women to ask questions and answer when asked something. Its amazing how a little coaxing goes a long way in making women feel more confident about themselves and speak up. You would be amazed at some of the points that come up. And women, ask that question, however dumb you think it is.
Fact: Many studies show that women are under confident when it comes to investing or managing finances. German Comdirect Bank and the DAB reveal that, women have less confidence in their financial knowledge than men and that 58% of men rated their financial understanding as good or very good, but only 47% of women.
What we should do: Let women manage their own finances, from the time they start working. I know many young girls who have started working but under immense pressure to hand over their finances to their parents or spouses under the pre-text that they wouldn’t know how to manage it. After all, there are other studies which show that women and their investment strategies are more stable. Centre for Financial Research at the University of Cologne found that female fund managers switch around their portfolios less than their male colleagues. Furthermore, women’s strategies and the subsequent performance tend to be more stable.
Statement: Women are bad drivers
What we should do: This statement really bugs me and I have told many people who say this, including my husband, to take a hike every once in a while. I even have a theory for facts showing that maybe women do fail more driving tests than men. It’s to do with EVOLUTION. Men have been the hunters and have always dealt with more tools and machines. Obviously their comfort levels are much higher when they deal even with cars but that doesn’t mean women are shitty. Did you know men cause more accidents that women? What does that show?
Anyway, the point is that when someone says this, explain to them that driving is a life skill. Discouraging statements like these are not going to help anyone, especially your own mothers, sisters, daughters and wives who really do need to learn this life skill today. So think before you speak or laugh at women who might be having some trouble and encourage them to not panic when they do. Trust me, it goes a long way in helping them take charge.
What we all should do in general: Men, please be more encouraging. There are centuries of pain, shackles and rules that women cannot get out of easily. Women, do not consider other women your competition, the worst we can do is to stop another woman from climbing higher.
A lot of the things I have mentioned if you see are in our minds and we can come out of it. So do not let yourselves stop what you can achieve. Aim higher, speak up, take charge, and keep driving ahead.
Image source: Indian couple by Shutterstock.
I am a marketing professional and love looking for new ideas and creative implementation techniques. But it is WORDS that are my passion - I think I have the ability to see patterns and express that read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
Homemakers or as we often call them, 'housewives' are IMO the most underestimated and disrespected of women. Time this changed.
I am so glad to write about this as homemakers were and till are the most undervalued and underestimated.
Having grown up in Indian society, I have witnessed people disrespecting homemakers by delivering various comments like, “saara din ghar par to hoti ho karti kya ho” (being at home what do you do full day), “housewives ke pass to bahut time hota hai” (housewives have a lot of time), “subah kaam hota hai fir to free hi free saara din” (you have work in the morning and then you are free the whole day).
I am a working woman and I confess that I can go to work because earlier my mother and now my mother-in-law share responsibilities with me. People feel the work of a homemaker is easy but honestly, it’s not. I see my mother-in-law waking up at 6 am and working non-stop till night. In fact, I would say the life of some working individuals are much more sorted and simple than that of a homemaker.
Please enter your email address