WHY THE CONVERSATION IS STILL SO IMPORTANT
Updated: Sep 21, 2021
I’m definitely one of the lucky ones. Born into a supportive family where I was told by my parents, grandparents and teachers (most of them anyway) that I could be what I wanted to be. I have had the opportunity to move across the world without my dad having to give me permission (like in Saudi) I’ve been able to go after a number of jobs that I’ve wanted to and it’s been great.
However, it hasn’t been without its challenges.
Behaviour you walk past is behaviour you accept
Have I been called out for my gender before? Yes. Have people told me I’m not capable because of my gender? Yes. Has a male insinuated that I only got the job because of them, not because of my own merit? Yes. Have I witnessed sexual harassment in the workplace? Yes. Do I know women that have been victims of sexual assault? Yes. Have I witnessed sexist jokes? Yes.
Has it stopped me? Absolutely not. Have I progressed anyway? Absolutely.
What does bother me is that in the past I have witnessed sexual harassment and sexism before through ‘jokes’ etc and I’ve ignored it. Maybe sometimes I didn’t realise what it was, but sometimes I definitely did and I didn’t do anything about it. That is my biggest regret. I didn’t feel empowered enough to use my own voice. Behaviour you walk past is behaviour you accept- and sexism is absolutely not acceptable. You, whether male or female reading this need to use your voice to call this out. You do have the power to call it out. You do have the power to make a difference. It took me some time to realise this, to find my voice but now I have it I won’t be shutting up anytime soon. And I’m hoping that I can help you find yours too, so lets carry on the conversation #eachforequal .
Working in a male dominated industry
I work in a male dominated industry. Everywhere I look I see males. I have 10 male direct reports. 5 male peers. And my boss and the 3 levels above him are male too. So to get anywhere I have needed male support, and I’ve been lucky enough to get it. But not everyone is that lucky. A lot of people aren't supported, probably for a number of reasons but I think these include, women not feeling empowered enough to ask for help, men not realising we need the support, men not being aware of thier own bias. So we need to keep the conversation alive #eachforequal .
Being supported in the work place
The company I work for I do believe is absolutely moving in the right direction with flexible working for both male and females, paternity leave for both sexes and holding events but this isn’t the norm. So unless we carry the conversation on this won’t change. People need to understand that even in Australia we aren’t there yet and we haven’t even touched the surface in the rest of the world.
So lets continue the conversation. Lets go #eachforequal