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Here's some education for the men who think women aren't suitable for sales. The only reason women actually might not be doing better is the bias taught by patriarchy.
Here’s some education for the men who think women in sales are a misfit. The only reason women actually might not be doing better is the bias taught by patriarchy.
Since my MBA days, I was very keen on working in the field of sales and marketing. I pursued and majored in the same. Though, even during those days people around me were very sceptical and scared, saying that sales is not a field for women. I used to hear stuff like, “It requires you to roam in the sun and get yourself tanned”, “you would need to tackle a lot of men”. And these statements were coming not just from my male counterparts, but also from a few other female counterparts.
However, staying firm on my choice, I completed my MBA in Sales and Marketing. I also got recruited by an MNC as a sales trainee. I was on cloud nine! I thought this was it. I crossed the hurdles of being into the field of sales, by securing a job in an MNC which according to their principles believed in giving chances to women as well.
And this made me think, does this sort of stereotyping really exist? The ones my friends and faculty used to talk about?
The first few weeks were like the honeymoon period for me, everyone seemed very sweet and approachable. I felt very much comfortable working with them. But, I hadn’t let my guard down.
After 3 months of working with them, the manager’s behaviour and way of communication started to change. There was also a male colleague from my college who had joined along with me. And eventually, all the essential and important tasks started to get delegated to him. I used to ask for work, the reply used to be generally, “You can help *Ash (using a different name for the story) with the delegated work”.
The work I was getting was of scheduling meetings or sometimes excel data filing, and I started to feel neglected and avoided.
Slowly things changed completely, all the others in my team were male. Slowly I realised that if I required their assistance for anything, they would dodge the request stating various reasons, but when my male colleague Ash asked for the same, there seemed to be no delay.
This got me thinking, “Am I being deliberately ignored?” It had become a problem because often my work would go pending because of my dependency on them.
Things went from worse to worst, when my mentor and my manager started to pressure me to getting things done, while having no help in areas where help was needed. It was not the pressure that affected me, but the way I was being treated. Their way of communication was as though I was not fit for the role. Their constant words started to affect my confidence in delivering the work assigned to me. And if there was any delay from the client-side, I would be held responsible. Even after providing them with valid proof for the delay.
This was the day, I realised why people always said, Sales and Marketing is a field not for women. But I felt there was more than just these stereotypical thoughts. While I know we are much more than these stereotypes, it’s always important to talk numbers. As numbers are the only language people in sales understand!
So buckle up ladies, for some amazing facts and numbers to prove your worth in sales. When someone ‘assumes’ you can’t do it, smash these numbers at them!
Apart from these, there are qualitative factors that place women in a better position as sales personnel.
We all get caught up in the talks around the unconscious bias that women are not fit for sales and marketing. Later, this thought gets absorbed inside us and we actually start thinking we are not better at it. While studies and analysis are proof that we are better!
The lesson I learnt is, to trust in my own abilities and always speak up to the higher officials regarding anything you feel is inappropriate. Remember, things won’t change until we voice it and fight for it. As this is a patriarchal society, it gets more important to vouch for credibility in our work and the qualities we possess rather than accepting their truth.
I hope this becomes an eye-opener for all the women working in the field of sales and marketing (as it was for me), as well as for the men who don’t cooperate or discriminate against us. We are better than how we are perceived. And the time is now, to change it!
Image source: a still from the film Hichki
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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.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).