Come one, come all to #BeBoldForChange and join the conversation today for International Women’s Day.
It is through communication that we can create an innovative culture, and it stimulates our thinking of how to build this culture that will embrace the changes we long for. It helps us to focus on what can be done to advance our mission for gender equality. We’re already at a head start with special guests from different industries who shared with us some of their personal thoughts about Women’s Day. And we can already assure you, the insights from these hard-working and determined individuals were nothing short of awesome.
To begin with Matter of Form’s CEO, Anant Sharma, who, when asked what the biggest challenge that he’s had to face as a man was and how he handled it, answered “For me, creating a laid back dynamic in the work environment – one that breeds mutual respect and engenders loyalty but without the feeling of working within a regime has been both a challenge and a learning curve. We inverted from being a very male dominated workplace (including all of the senior leadership), to very female dominated, before coming to a natural and healthier balance, it’s been interesting learning how to nudge and shift the dynamic whilst remaining neutral”. CEO of Parcelly, Sebastian Steinhauser, could relate by stating “there is no ambiguity any more in terms of company culture, as it is in my own and my team’s hands to create a work environment of mutual respect and trust, taking gender totally out of the equation”. Both men suggest the challenging efforts to create a work environment that breeds on mutual respect and takes gender out of the equation.
Consider Erika Lust, Erotic Film Director, and Alia Ali, lawyer at A City Law Firm, who both expressed the challenges of being mothers while juggling their professional life: “I was lucky to have a partner that understood parenthood perfectly,” mentioned Erika, “I kept busy and active, which was important for me, and I did not stop working outside of the home.”
“Having a supportive partner and boss/ director has been fundamental.” added Alia.
Between our interviewed men who work to establish mutual respect through an equal & healthy balance between genders in the workplace, and our interviewed women who mentioned the balance in their relationship as a fundamental aspect in their professional lives, this may as well suggest a key to reaching gender equality is one in which we not make one gender’s qualities overshadow the other, but put both on an equal footing.
“What I’ve learnt working for almost a decade in corporate world is that big changes happens when men and women work together,” said Soumyadip, CEO at MysteryVibe, “This year, Stephanie (current Co-Founder&Chief Pleasure Officer) and I are working together on a big transitioning: from me being CEO of Mysteryvibe to her becoming CEO. So next year we’ll have another female CEO out there”. Talk about #HeforShe!
To break the expectations of a women’s role in the professional or nonprofessional world brought on by fallacious beliefs, genders must play an equal role to help take on the challenging events imposed on women still occurring today. It will no longer be about what a women should be doing, but about what she wants to, and her success will prevail based on her skill set.
“The person who researches more, knows more, irrelevant of their gender” elaborated Soumy.
Another takeaway from our guests’ answers is the realisation that there is a need to change the expectations imposed on a child’s early life regarding their future. To tell a girl that she can raise a child while working as a professional and to tell a boy that he can raise a child while working as a professional is an example of a painless act that could change their perspectives for the better. Or perhaps simply telling them they can be whoever they want to be works as well.
Today we recognise the bold men & women who work daily to redefine patriarchy and fight for gender equal rights.
P.S. Read below the inspiring advice our interviewees would give to the coming women of today
Alia, A City Law Firm :
Women are good at empathy and balance. These are excellent skills to infiltrate the current work landscape. Stay true to yourself and do not allow anyone to distract you from achieving your goals. Invest in the positive interactions, capitalise on your strengths and address your weaknesses before others do.
Anant, Matter of Form:
Be whoever you want to be. I think in the context of various populist movements, it’s more important than ever to remember that people are people, and freedom is about options.
Earn your money. Be independent . Nothing is granted. Love yourself deeply, take care of yourself and know your worth as a human being.
Stay true to yourself and stand up for your rights. Never accept to be stigmatised and don’t forget to support your female colleagues no matter where your career takes you.
Don’t take away expectations from a child’s early life so he/she can be aware of their unlimited potential and become who she/he really wants to be not what norms or society or others want he/her to be.
Remember that being a feminist is about giving women choice.