I have been working for years now and had worked with different corporate companies. During my association with the firms I had experienced incidents which really had me go bonkers when it comes to women empowerment. First, it was society which has created this gender discrimination. Close behind society, corporates have also implemented this mindset. Of late though, this has begun to change. Women are getting the right kind of support from the corporates, like work from home, maternity, the ‘Be You’ campaign, sexual harassment policies etc.
But is this support enough? Are women being considered equal opportunity employees?
The fact is that 17% of Indian GDP is contributed by women in India. We have more talent and scope when it comes to the skillset that women possess in India. If corporates give women more of a chance, we can increase this percentage.
Now the question is: how can corporates make their workplaces more women – friendly, to bring the best out of each and every female employee?
First and foremost: make sanitary pads available at workplace. The world knows that women have the ability to create life in her womb. It is important for a women to bleed monthly, it is a sign that she can give birth.
The second: – Why is the word “menstruation” a taboo in corporates? Why the word “period” word is treated as an offensive word? If I am menstruating and if I am telling you, then what is wrong in it? I am bleeding. I am menstruating. I am on my periods. If I tell you this, why does it make you uncomfortable? If corporates create a culture of comfort, every woman will feel empowered and secure in the company environment.
The third: Make my plus size my strength. What if I am fat? What if I am bulky? Yes, I am what you see. Corporate to create plus size forum where each and every plus size female is invited and asked to share their stories, challenges and struggles. Let them speak their heart out. They will be more confident and creative at work.
The fourth – I may not like to play video games, play chess or go jogging. I may not be a smoking person. Then, what do I do to de-stress myself? Corporates should have a space for women where they can go and destress themselves. I like to knit. I like to draw. I like to paint. I like to participate in karaoke. If you have a sports room and gym, then I deserve a stress buster facility too. I need to de-stress myself to be more productive.
The fifth – Consider me equal for a role that my male colleagues are considered for. I also possess the same skill set for the role, but why am I not promoted? Remove that implicit bias. I may be able to justify the role better than any other candidate. Evaluate me as well and then decide if I am capable enough or not. You need to give me equal opportunities as any other employee.
The sixth – Don’t judge my performance because any one task. I may be under the weather, stressed out, under pressure etc. I would really appreciate if you would call me and have a discussion about it rather than just shouting at me.
The seventh – Do not compare constantly compare women employees with other women employees. I am me. If you compare me with other staff, I may compare you with other managers.
The eighth – Make the workplace baby-friendly. If I see my child at my workplace lying next to my desk, I will be more productive as I will not be thinking about my child constantly and being worried.
The ninth – I can lead too. Give me my opportunity to empower, lead and manage my team. I also lead by example. Make me a leader and give me an opportunity to bring changes.
The tenth – Invest in me. I need to be developed. I need to be updated. I need to be trained. I need to be certified. If you will invest in me, I will be more efficient in my work and I will be more connected with my organization. If my development needs are being met, I will be more ahead in achieving the organizational goal.
To bring the change in women’s lives, corporations need to be that change. A woman gives her time to her organisation and in return she expects her company to create a supportive environment for her.
I pledge to women empowerment.