Let me set the record straight. I am all about Women Empowerment. This is my passion and my business. This is my main focus when I read a new book or article; this is what I search for when I open my TED app and this is one of the hashtags I always use on my Social Media posts. You get the picture.
But men and women get it wrong all the time. They have misconceptions and misinterpretations. They might roll their eyes, dismiss the conversation and whisper ‘Here we go again…’ (if you have a smile on your face, this might sound familiar). Or they might express their support passionately, while misusing the whole concept and thus, hurting it.
So what do I mean when I talk about Women Empowerment?
- Women Empowerment is about equality.
It is about educating people that men and women are equal; neither superior nor inferior. Women and men have the same mental abilities and intellectual capacities.
Therefore, women can do the same job as men. You might be thinking right now about some more physically demanding jobs. I am not an expert on this matter, so all I am going to say is that women are biologically different than men. Our bodies and muscles are generally smaller than men’s, which makes some physical activities harder for us.
- Women Empowerment is not an entitlement.
If you, my lady friend, use the gender card whenever you feel something is not fair, I ‘ll ask you to reconsider. If you want to be treated equally to your colleagues, you need to take the same responsibilities and show up. If you want the same salary or the same position as the person next to you, then you need to be able to perform as well as s/he does. Prove that your performance and the results you deliver are of the same standards and you should be able to get the same remuneration and position.
- Women Empowerment is not a one-sided concept.
Women should be educated on this matter and feel empowered to speak their minds up clearly and with confidence. They need to be able to recognise whether a situation is biased by their gender, or whether the fact that they are a woman is completely irrelevant. They need to lift each other up and stop this pointless competition. They also need to feel supported and listened to.
This is where men come in. Men should be educated on how to handle situations and avoid generalisations and gender stereotypes. They need to trust that women can deliver the same results, given that it is the right person for the right job. They need to show more understanding and be more conscious about the expressions they use and their behaviours.
- Women Empowerment is about unlocking their full potential.
When you show a person that you have faith in them, they feel safe to express themselves, take risks and make mistakes. This is what most women need in their workplace. They need to feel understood and supported by their superiors, their colleagues and the teams they manage. This is when they grow, both personally and professionally, and with their own growth, the whole company will grow.
- Women Empowerment starts at home.
This is my core belief. My father has been inspiring and supporting me since I was little. He would give me ideas and he would hold my hand when I failed. He gave me a safe space to experiment, try new things and find out what I was capable of doing.
My husband is the one person who has been with me through my career changes and my endless studies. He never questions me. As a partner, he is equal to me. We have each other’s back and support one another no matter what. After all, we have two young daughters. By treating each other with respect we show them how things should be when they grow up and accept nothing less.
Women empowerment is neither an excuse, nor an entitlement. It is a basic need of every environment. It is a concept that all of us should get right, so we can achieve better relationships. It is about empowering women to believe in themselves.
Originally published at www.linkedin.com