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What is the theme for International Women's Day 2023, and what does it mean to us? Don't worry, we have the answers!
What is the theme for International Women’s Day 2023, and what does it mean to us? Don’t worry, we have the answers!
The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day chosen by the United Nations 67th Commission is based on the status of women priority, ‘Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender-equal future’.
The DEI: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
To help create an environment where everyone is respected and valued regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, caste, religion, sexual orientation, or any other factor. With a culture of acceptance and understanding, organizations can attract more talented individuals from diverse backgrounds.
The DEI culture has become essential at workplaces to ensure that all employees have a safe and comfortable working environment.
Are we cultivating an equitable culture? We have made progress in this direction, but it is minuscule.
Some issues that are a hindrance in achieving these are:
Women are often judged on parameters of efficiency or inability to balance personal and professional lives. We have heard of the biases, especially during the hiring, and many of us must have experienced them too.
One recruiter was asking a candidate if she had plans to get married in the near future, if she was unmarried. If married, they will ask her if she’s planning to start a family. Not sure if men are asked these at the time of hiring.
Ladies are preferred only in certain job profiles; some automatically write them off without giving them a fair opportunity.
Women had to shatter glass ceilings to be where we are today, that generation has gone, but they paved the way for the future generations of women to step out and play their best games.
Women gradually made their way into many professions; today they are everywhere, even in combat roles or sailing on the high seas! Sadly, hiring is still biased and so is firing.
During the pandemic, women lost more jobs; we have research proving it. Whenever an organization downsizes its team, women are sadly the first ones to be going out. All job cuts start with them, sadly.
Many women strive hard to balance their jobs and family lives, each one needs to figure out what works for her; planning and adjustments is the key.
In similar job profiles, often women earn less than their male counterparts. Women had to fight for job opportunities, then for equal opportunities, and the next step was wage parity.
In sports, the media or in films also wage disparity exists; highlighting these fields here as when they speak it’s out in the media and for everyone to see. People are voicing their opinions now and it is having an impact.
As they say, if you can dream it, you can do it! In corporate jobs, women are paid lesser across all levels in the hierarchy for reasons still unknown.
We have reached a point where women are trying to prove how they can do everything that men can; they try to better themselves. Do we need that kind of equality? Then why are we even talking about diversity and inclusion?
More than equality, we must seek and speak about gender equity. As men and women are meant to have their own set of unique qualities; these very qualities set them apart. Men and women are meant to complement each other and not try to outsmart one another.
Each gender needs to embrace those roles and work together with the other, thus bringing completeness – be it in the family environment or at the workplace. We are living in times when we need collaboration rather than competition.
Stereotyping is one of the reasons for not seeing women in Senior Leadership roles. It needs to be eliminated; fundamentally, stereotyping puts men and women in different compartments.
Life needs to flow and flow freely; not remain in boxes of prejudice. Society looks for certain qualities in leaders, and there are words to describe those qualities.
Unfortunately, the words are generally masculine; these further stereotype men to be natural leaders and women are not considered to be good enough to be leaders at the top. Mid-levels are fine for any gender, but towards the higher up in the hierarchy unfortunately preferences are there and women lose out.
Lack of encouragement towards leadership and relevant training also contributes to fewer women leaders, at times women need to fight for opportunities. Conditioning of both men and women from their childhood itself may be one of the reasons for stereotyping.
Expectations for women to take on multiple roles often hinder their progress and prevent them from reaching leadership positions, and stereotypes bring them undue stress. It’s not easy for a woman to live up to such unrealistic expectations.
These very stereotypes have to be eliminated and society needs to evolve. Children have to be raised as children and not as boys or girls. This may also reduce crimes against women apart from giving them fair opportunities.
Mentorship programmes assist in grooming ambitious young women into leadership roles as they can see role models. The option and access to mentorship has to be available for all; true to the meaning of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Leadership also comes with accountability, and men or women in those roles need to use their power with due diligence, not misusing it in any way whatsoever.
There is also a perception that our laws favour women, that myth needs busting by way of doing the right things no matter who the person is – man, woman or any other.
When we can steer ourselves clear of stereotypes and are receptive to DEI; can we make a gender-equal future in the true sense?
Image source: via Getty Images, pexels, Unsplash, free and edited on CanvaPro
Laxmi Todiwan - Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. An award winning hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development read more...
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If a woman insists on her prospective groom earning enough to keep her comfortable, she is not being “lazy”. She is just being practical, just like men!
When an actress described women as “lazy” because they choose not to have careers and insist on only considering prospective grooms who earn a lot, many jumped to her defence.
Many men (and women) shared stories about how “choosy” women have now become.
One wrote in a now-deleted post that when they were looking for a bride for her brother, the eligible women all laid down impossible conditions – they wanted the groom to be not more than 3 years older than them, to earn at least 50k per month, and to agree to live in an independent flat.
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* All names mentioned in the article have been changed to respect client confidentiality.
“I don’t want to take a pay cut and accept the offer, but everyone around me is advising me to take up what comes my way,” Tanya* told me over the phone while I was returning home from the New Delhi World Book Fair. “Should I take it up?” She summed up her dilemma and paused.
I have been coaching Tanya for the past three months. She wants to change her industry, and we have been working together on a career transition roadmap.
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