Two days ago, was March 8th The International Women’s day. A day set in our calendars to give voice to the fight against gender discrimination, aiming to a world more diverse, equitable and inclusive. As a woman, I’m a true believer that only working together with men, we can aspire to create better conditions for all of us. Nevertheless, we should remember the power of women helping women to overcome barriers and feel more empowered.
Where we’re coming from
There are a few decades now since women had more access to power positions, a world ruled by men, in which women can sometimes find themselves as impostors. This context produces some non-desirable effects, including what is called the glass ceiling effect.
A glass ceiling inequality represents a gender or racial difference that is not explained by other job relevant characteristics of the employee. In other words, there are factors related to the context, and out of the women hands that affect the way they access those power positions. Thus, the impact on how women perceive their abilities, knowledge, and skills is huge; so is the impact on their self-confidence.
This has been a long-lasting process with consequences that we can see now in the workplaces. Many women, with excellent qualifications, think they’re not ready for a promotion even when everyone provides incredibly positive feedback. Many others are impressively self-critical, no matter how much recognition they’ve got.
The truth is that our male mates don’t suffer, generally speaking, of these two things.
Where we are
In this point, women are just awakening. There are some incredible women working in top management and middle management positions, clearing the path for the generations to come. Women helping women to understand that for some changes to come, they also need to work on removing their limiting beliefs.
Men created workplace structures, rules, and expectations and that can be frustrating for women’s ambitions. But the truth is that, jointly with that, it’s women’s beliefs, attitudes, and habits that many times get in their way. The good news is that these things lie within their control. Having other experienced women helping in how to overcome these barriers is priceless.
Where we should be
Having more gender balance in the workplace is not only a matter of justice. Multiple researches prove that having more women in the top management positions is good for the companies.
We have a long way ahead but, with time, more men will become our allies, realizing the incredible possibilities of working together. Nevertheless, women need to work on their side to be able to take this train.
We need to realize what attitudes or behaviours are no longer serving our purpose, raising awareness and self-consciousness. We must work on developing our self-confidence and stop getting in our way.
Having other women helping women is essential: sharing experiences, showing empathy, educating for the future, and, why not, providing with opportunities. Maybe, it’s the time to promote women’s lobbies that can help out new generations of women in leadership.