Gender discrimination is a social plague infesting our country even in the 21st century, and its prime target is a woman’s self-confidence. Even with growing awareness about the issue and many corporate houses implementing equal rights policies for employees, this discriminatory mind-set is deeply rooted in our society. And the problem is that we may be engaging in gender discrimination at home or at work without even realising it.
Right from delayed promotions to a larger share of household work, women are subjected to discrimination in every form. An alarming fact is that most women don’t realise they are being exploited. Most of those who do grasp the seriousness of the situation are not confident enough to stand up for themselves and demand the things they deserve.
A lot of this comes down to how we are raised as woman. At a very young age there are constant questions put to girls when they want to attempt something new – Are you sure? Do you think you are capable? Can you really do this? Is it not too much for you? As a woman, will it be a problem for you? Women are made to question themselves at every step and are made to think if they are good and capable enough.
Modern day parents say they want their girl child to be independent, but what is the kind of example they are setting for her? When she witnesses an interaction between her mother and father, does the mother have an equal voice? Does she have an equal respect in the relationship? To me, that’s what an equal partnership means. Children will only emulate what they see at home with their parents and their dynamics as individuals. Hence it is important to impress upon the children, both girls and boys, that they are equal.
There is an additional pressure on women to be perfect in everything they do and are being constantly compared to their peers and contemporaries. They are also put in the cycle of constantly judging themselves harshly on everything they do. Am I a good enough mother? Am I a good enough leader? Am I fulfilling my role as a woman of the house? With these questions comes the lack of confidence. We start losing our self-identity and then we are so easy to adapt and mould ourselves into what the world wants us to be.
So how do we solve the crisis of confidence and how do we make it our right to choose who we want to be? Because only when we’re confident, can we truly hear our own voice.
We, at Metropolis Healthcare, take pride in being a progressive business with around 55% of our workforce being women employees. Our policies are flexible to accommodate the needs of a working woman. At the same time we take special care to maintain equality among all our employees. When it comes to empowering women within the organisation and retaining valuable talent, Metropolis creates a platform and structure for them to flourish and which really allows different facets of their lives to not impede each other. We try our best to allow them to have a personal life and a professional life and facilitate the co-existence of both without compromising each other.
At the end of the day though, the environment can only support you and it finally comes down to the individual woman and the choices she makes. Knowing that she is in a space where she wants to balance a professional and personal life, women need to realise that they will have to trade off something else – a certain career path, or a certain aspect of their personal life; something has to go. You can’t max it all.
And it all comes down to the woman choosing what she wants to let go off at that time and simultaneously be comfortable with her choice. What I see mostly with a lot of women is constant regret – I should have done this better, I should have done that, when I’m at work I think of my kids, when I’m with my kids I think of work. It is not easy, but it is also important to make your choices and live by them. It is also important for women to say that I’m comfortable with my choice.
When women start questioning their own decisions and when they compare themselves with other women, it destroys their confidence. From then on, everything just spirals downhill. It is hence crucial for women to be ready to take certain risks. They have to be ready to not let other people judge them for the mistakes they make. Only when women stop letting the opinions of others sway them, can they embrace their right to be confident and be choose to be themselves.