Have you ever thought about how you treat other women or about how other women treat you?
I recently had two situations where women tried to make me feel small.
In the first situation, a woman complained that I was too close to her campsite. I was trying to seek out a shady spot for my dog on a public beach. She was not going to be happy until I was out of her sight. I tried to work to cohabitate harmoniously in the space, but she treated me like she owned the beach. She threated my 10lb dog with her 200lb dogs and threw insults at my partner to try and get a rise as well.
In the second situation, again on a beach but a different one, I was sitting in the water reading a book. This woman kept on walking in and out of the water beside me, every time splashing me. All I could think is “why”? There were many others who passed me, even kids, and I wasn’t getting splashed by anyone else. It was not just a sprinkle either, my book was wet all the way up to my sunglasses, resulting in water spots all over them and forcing me to continuously need to wipe them off in order to read.
These situations got me thinking! As a gender, we should be supporting each other and helping women rise, versus being confrontational with each other. From my research I have read many theories about why this is not happening. One theory is that self-esteem and power must be the same to get along. Another theory is that women in higher positions take on more male-specific tendencies such as assertiveness and confidence or compete for space in leadership. Others just don’t see it as their role.
In my previous examples, were these ladies leaders, being good role models for others?
We already know the pandemic has had a regressive effect on gender equality. Women’s jobs are 1.8x more vulnerable than men’s; women make up 39% of global employment but account for 54% of job losses from the pandemic. Yet, there is this other side, where women have been successful in leadership roles recently in response to Covid-19.
When businesses have women in leadership roles, they are more likely to experience above average profitability and improved employee engagement, yet women are still underrepresented in leadership. They are not given the same advancement or promotion opportunities. They are not given the same team participation activities.
As a gender, we have come a long way, but we have further to go. We need to raise awareness to this. We need to advocate for ourselves and others. Let’s lift, support and celebrate women!
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