“Women are women’s worst enemies” is perhaps an old tagline resold in new wine bottles aka memes and TV soaps. I am sure most of you agree with this. We have all experienced conflicts at the workplace and even with families. Most attribute the source to women. Be it a fight between two women or two families, it is consistently the woman who is blamed. But it is also a woman who can do the reversal of what has been said. I believe we can be better and be the best for each other.
What about women in leadership roles? How do you think she can uplift others to climb the ladder? Many of us are tuned to think that once women enter leadership positions and roles, they will forget the team. But what people don’t realize is that these same women have the power to lead teams and conglomerates up the graph, and positively as well. They have the power to influence the minds and the women around them. In other words, women can support each other and influence the workplace.
A good team will have a healthy man-woman ratio. During the times when a woman who is in a principal leadership role is unable to meet her deadline, I have noticed other colleagues pitching in, helping and supporting them in reaching deadlines. Likewise, I have seen bosses being extremely supportive when teammates are falling behind schedules. Exceptional cases are there where women do try and bring other women teammates down to get a promotion. More empowered women are taking initiative in carrying the whole team with them. As the saying goes, ’empowered women empower women.’
As a woman, have you recently been side-lined from a project? Or been asked to step off a managerial position? Or been given a poor appraisal despite achieving top targets? If you have faced any of these, it isn’t surprising! We live in a very competitive world. Gender equality is still debated, the same pay is still disputed and for sure, women have it hard. Of course, it is the stern truth. Also, opposite genders do find opposite genders competitive and at times threatening and intimidating too, be it at the workplace or even on the family front. Many can’t handle a colleague or a family member who does it all or make it happen. I believe women possess the same efficiency as any other gender when it comes to managing, running, or directing, be it a company, corporation, or conglomerate. If the right chance, work environment, and equal rights and equal pay too are provided, women can excel in ways one cannot fathom.
Women have the following unique selling points that help them achieve good work productivity – good at the social front, strong in networking, have a great growth trajectory, good at positive mentoring, ability to don multiple roles, and have a good vision. Above all, a woman can develop a good blueprint for the organisations growth if mentored and uplifted generously. Hitting the glass ceiling and breaking it has made women reach higher roles in institutions and top MNCs in the world.
Just have a look at the great global leaders who have been featured in the global leadership and financial indexes. From former C.E.O. of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, Former Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, and to current Global C.E.O of Channel, Leena Nair and many more women at top posts have proven that positive outlook and mentoring can take you to the top.
All of us have a good leader in us but most of us choose to be followers. This is also thanks to the years of conditioning that have gone into convincing women to leave leadership roles to men. Adding stereotypes to the above line that have been perpetuated over the years too. No comparison or putting men down in any way or doubting their leadership skills. I am just trying to make a point that women too can be good leaders if given the opportunity.
So, let me ask, what are the good markers of a robust leader? Here it is, listen up, if you have the following traits, you are a future leader.
Strike a good work-life balance Inclusive at work Strong Teamwork Effective work management skills Great Communicators Love facing challenges Good at dreaming big Effective crises management Don multiple hats High E.Q.s (Emotional Quotient) Going against conventions and leading by example
Just work hard and you will make it. As much as people will find it hard to accept, a woman can display her aptitudes when she is tossed into a crisis as well. Right from heading small cottage industries to NGOs or even conglomerates and nations, they have proven that if given the chance, they will excel! They aren’t the ones to run away (barring the scamsters who am not referring to!) from hard work. Just look at some of the top females recognized in global leadership.
Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States, Radhika Jones, Editor-in-Chief of Vanity Fair, Kathrin Jansen, Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble, Maria Eitel, Founder and Chair of the Nike Foundation and Girl Effect, Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, Melanie Perkins, Co-Founder and CEO of Canva, Christine Lagarde, President of European Central Bank, Sonia Syngal, President and CEO of Gap, Falguni Nayar, Founder & CEO, Nykaa ranked among the Forbes most powerful women in 2021, and Samia Suluhu Hassan, the newly elected President of Tanzania, we have plenty to look up to. There are many SHeroes, we just have to look around. These women are inspiring.
Going by the adage “Hum Kisise Kam Nahi”, (I am not lesser than anyone) women should keep moving forward and achieve greater heights. Nothing should stop you from shattering glass ceilings and all the interconnected myths to it. Women can be and are the biggest strength for each other. So, bust the myths and excel! Keep supporting one another!
Follow Priya Rajendran