While creating spaces and mandating the presence of women in the workforce is being rapidly enforced, a closer look reveals that often these initiatives remain superficial. Here are the results of recent research we undertook to understand the real story.
Reality check: The research looked at how women show up at work, their lived experiences and what they do.
While women are being appointed to roles and positions that have been delineated for them by the DEI rules, their skills and capabilities continue to be overlooked.
Some women see themselves as capable, competent and ambitious and do not shy away from voicing it out. But this is a small percentage. Most times, they let the men in the workspace define their roles, take a back seat when it comes to projects with credibility and are often assigned innocuous roles during events like managing the décor, handling the compering, lighting the lamp and so on.
The work done in these roles is usually taken for granted and not considered during appraisals. Most women, while not ok with these roles, do these anyway so as not to rock the boat and be seen as good team players.
How are women are perceived by men
First and foremost, women entering domains that are essentially male dominated are seen as competition and are not welcome. Even the good ones do not get credit from their managers, and their teams often see them as a ‘woman quota’ candidate: undoing their efforts, qualifications and skill sets.
A woman who climbs the corporate ladder quickly will have people commenting on her character and easy morals. If she is aggressive and speaks out against discrimination, she will be labelled ‘feminist.’
Towards an equitable tomorrow.
The research serves as an eye opener that all is definitely not well in the corporate space. As DEI initiatives get rolled out across organizations, having campaigns to sensitize men colleagues and leaders is as important. The path ahead towards a more equitable future requires a balance of both: giving opportunities to women to step forward, creating spaces where they can network with other women and find the strength to keep pushing forward. And educating men on the need to change the lens through which they are seeing the woman and her accomplishments.