√ In 2019, only 2% of women were found to be in CEO positions, 8% in management roles and 9% in business management roles in India.
√ In Canada, men hold over 90% of executive roles.
√ In Australia, men dominate a majority of the senior levels of management.
These statistics are startling, aren’t they? It happens in every part, every county of the world with small differences in numbers. Because we women chose to suppress our professional goals! Because we are programmed to believe that we aren’t meant to be leaders. It’s the 21st century and we still have a long way to go!
“If more and more women step into leadership roles, the world will stop assuming they shouldn’t” – Sheryl Sandberg
“A society fails when it doesn’t recognise the creativity, wisdom and energy of its women” – Tian Wei
Women need to see themselves as leaders, no matter what happens in their personal space. The secret to being a leader is believing that you are already one!
We tend to lower our expectations and aspirations as our personal lives change rapidly from time to time. We start doubting our abilities and talents with every new phase of life. Hell, we even start doubting our own choices. The weight of expectations is too heavy a burden.
However, the trick lies in doing just the opposite. Say yes to everything that scares you and accept every opportunity to explore your true potential. Being bold with your decisions makes all the difference. Tell yourself, I can do this!
Take charge of your career today to be leaders of a better and safer tomorrow!
How Can You Bounce Back?
Here we will discuss three ways to help re-ignite your aspirations and take control of your life.
1. Take charge
- Instead of agonizing over what others will think and say, get up and take control of your life before anyone else does. If you believe you can be a leader, you have won half the battle. As women, we tend to go into a self-doubting mode but it’s possible to overcome that.
- We wonder if the job or the surroundings will accept us as we are. We worry that we will have to show up as someone different if we become leaders – but that’s not the case. Especially in this new world of work, our strengths are seen as strengths of leaders, be it empathy, inclusivity or creativity.
- When men are presented with larger opportunities, most of them embrace the challenge. We need to do just the same – embrace every opportunity to challenge ourselves. However, most women believe that they aren’t ready yet for bigger opportunities in life. This is why we miss out a lot in the career space. Studies show that men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100% of them. Women need to believe in themselves more – build their confidence.
- One of the biggest reasons why women hesitate to take up leadership roles is the unequal burden of family responsibilities. Many women are forced to compromise on their professional life for a smooth sailing family life. However, the only person who can bring about a change is “YOU”. Take charge of your career today to bring out a powerful leader tomorrow!
2. Think independently
- Women are often asked to avoid risks in their careers. On the other hand, men are always encouraged to explore opportunities and take risks. This is how society perceives us to be. But why do we allow ourselves to fall into such a bracket? Why do we give others the authority to decide what’s best for us?
- As women, we are expected to balance home and work. But no such rules exist for men. This is why it is crucial to stay away from any negativity in terms of your career and personal life.
- With opinions flooding in from every direction, it is you who has to make a choice. If you desire to take up leadership roles, nothing should stop you from doing so. Do not try to mould yourself to fit into others’ expectations of you. Believe in your talents and abilities! Also, do not let other’s opinions matter to you too much.
3. Create a supportive environment
- When you don’t have a supportive environment, create one. Find a mentor or coach who can understand your ambitions and support your choices. This will help you gain confidence and elevate your aspirations.
- Aspiring female leaders benefit from role models who’ve traversed the journey successfully. If you can’t find one in your organization, look for someone outside. Borrow some inspiration and allow yourself to be inspired.
- Mentors or role models have a big impact on your decisions. They can also help you discuss your opportunities and choose the best work trajectory for you.
- Besides, today, there are many online forums and groups that you can be a part of. You can find women in strong leadership roles and seek their advice. Such groups are a great way to find support. Additionally, you can get the much-needed reassurance in terms of your profession.
Women are capable of extraordinary things! There is enough and more evidence out there to prove that. Learn to believe in yourself and never let your aspirations die.
As we struggle to end this gender disparity, we can hope our future generations won’t have to fight such battles. You don’t have to be perfect. But you definitely have to push yourself to take up more challenges and excel in any profession that you may choose!
So, ladies, throw the excuses out of the door and let’s rise together. Advance to a future where gender inequality doesn’t exist! Only “WE” can make it happen if we believe we are “ENOUGH”.
– Contributed by Pooja Pandit