FEMALE STRUGGLES IN THE BUSINESS WORLD
I get the feeling that most people in the developed world think there is gender equality in the workplace now. From my experience I have found the opposite, and the numbers speak for themselves. According to the Global Gender Gap Report of 2018 women hold just 34% of managerial positions across the countries where data is available, only 22% of all professionals globally are female, compared to 78% who are male, and females on average make only 60% of a man's earning in similar positions. To overcome this gap and help you improve professionally I have collected some of the most common struggles I hear about, or have experienced myself and want to share with you ways to overcome these situations.
The other day I thought about the way we women interact. Why is it, that men can bond over a beer, shake hands and be considered friends, whilst women frequently struggle to break the ice with one another?
Here are a few scenarios, which present to me me ways in which we can improve, or at least raise our awareness to help us bond with other women:
1 Women compare each other
As women we are always aware of one another. Have you ever been asked “what was the new blonde chick wearing at the party last Friday?” A man might answer something like "Oh – the one with the short red dress?" Now, women are made a little differently. We don't just remember the dress – NAWW – we remember the brand, pattern, accessories, make up - oh, and those godawful shoes!! Why on earth would anyone match those shoes with such a beautiful dress?
We don't just see each other, we NOTICE, COMPARE and JUDGE one another! We do so for no particular reason; it seems to be almost instinctive and happens even if we aren't fully aware of doing it.
2 Women judge each other
I could buy a mansion if I had a penny for every time I heard the sentence, "Girl!! You are so nice, I don't mean to be rude, but when I first met you I thought you were a real bitch." We judge, before we even really know each other, and we very rarely have the thought "Goodness this girl is so beautiful. I'm happy for her – hopefully she will become my friend." Because God forbid that a woman should actually be pretty because she was born beautiful, that she is successful because she has worked hard, or that she is well liked because she is inherently a good person.
3 Women blame each other
Why is it that we always compare ourselves and make excuses/explain away other women's assets? This is a question that takes some self-reflection but if we are really honest, it’s because we aren’t happy with ourselves. We want to be prettier, happier, richer, and thinner than the girl that just stepped into the room. Even worse, we blame the other woman for having all those things, whilst believing we have none of those qualities at all. Someone who is fully content with themselves and their life doesn't have a reason for jealousy.
4 Women don´t take action
Here is the thing though, we are fortunate! We live in a time in which women can be educated, can work, and can be single without facing ridicule. This is a fate much richer than many of our ancestors, who were forced into a different path. We have the power to make our own decisions and shape our future, to go out into the world and be who we want to be, to see what we want to see, and to do what we need in order to achieve our goals. And, we should make sure to recognize another woman's life, because she got to where she is not by chance, but by making decisions every day that shaped her life path.
When we are able to acknowledge other women and not judge them, we are at peace in ourselves and can shape true friendships. We can let go of unhealthy thoughts about one another, and from it be happier together. Not only does that help us to be more content within ourselves but it helps others too (big news: it doesn't feel nice to be judged).
Let me tell you, female friendships are far more beautiful than jealousy and the wrinkles that "bitchiness" will form on your forehead!
Having been guilty of these situations myself I know how hard it is to change, but once you take that first step and see the effect it has on yourself and others around you, you won't be able to stop.