Elisabeth Moreno, Vice President and Managing Director at HP
All Humans beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights …But some Humans are more equal than others.
That’s a fact. And an issue for most of the reasonable people in this planet. Whether you’re born in the North or the South, in an Urban or Rural area, Black or White, Girl or Boy, you will not have access to the same equality.
And the best way to fix an issue is to accept its reality: Human have always had a perception of superiority or inferiority between themselves. Stereotypes are hard to uproot as shortcuts are convenient to discourage. For men AND women. And this needs to change because inequality is harmful for everyone in society as it places people in a hierarchy that increases comparison, competition and causes frustration, conflicts and violence .
I started working in the Information, communication and technology industry– ICT is a highly male dominated environment 20 years ago. And I have learnt 3 important things;
1. Competence and professionalism have no gender. In fact, gender should be important only for our reproductive needs. Not to our inner talent, capability, potential, job, position, ambition or dreams.
2. If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things and give them access to the same opportunities. Once done, women need to go after what they really want.
3. When companies embrace diversity, and people feel valued for who they are, they feel better, they perform better and the company flourishes. This is again a proven fact.
Our world is run by economics, science and technology. We value competition more than compassion. We have left behind one part of our globe and one part of our population. We have neglected the values of art, music and aesthetics. Empathy and caring are often considered as weaknesses. And we don’t need complex surveys and studies to realize the result of this situation; our humanity is not at its best.
For the first time in our history, we have all the resources, capabilities and technologies to fix the multiple challenges we are facing – climate change, economic crisis, global health issues…. But it requires us to make the most of our feminine and masculine strengths. Feminine and masculine imagination and creativity. It’s time to have the right balance between our polarities. It is not a question of pity but survival. And women will bring their best to this world if they feel they are equally treated.
This is not a “women thing” but a Human thing. #I am generation equality.
Cynthia M. Wright: Thoughts on IWD 2020 – Each for Equal
Cynthia Musafili Wright
Leading with inordinate authenticity as a substitute for the adoption of personalities basing on other’s expectations might crack more governance potentiality in women and, at the same time, hasten their influences within their respective organizations, according to the United Nations. If women are not authentic in society and at the same time are not recognized, appreciated, and respected,most would want to do what is required of them to perform and succeed in most departments.
Additionally, in case the political/ competitive societal behavior is harmful, women might be forced to be something that they are not leading to gender mainstream issues. Hence, women might feel unworthy and unsustainable to do what they have to do for authentic leadership. Men, on the other hand, when asked to comment about their level of authenticity, might assert that being authentic is not a perfect ideal or acceptable in the society/ workplace.
In the contemporary out weighed male society, women have struggled to be authentic. Women have to conform to the societal principles and femininity to fit into society without seeming masculine. The discord of upholding such a sweet spot is hard and more draining for women. Women can, therefore, flourish in a male subjugated culture. However, it comes with enormous emotional and psychological costs. Women must nurture a compelling, authentic, and feminine societal presence.
In simpler terms, women must focus on their strengths if they want to cultivate authentic leadership and not copy what men do to make their presence seen. Authentic leadership,powered by a commanding purpose,assists other leaders (men and women) in inspiring others. Both men and women can display dominant and authentic leadership ideologies. The promotion of feminine authentic leadership doctrines must not be regarded as a male-female issue. It is all about whether society overlooks certain physiognomies vital in navigating global and
communal/ societal challenges. Highly authentic leaders can also articulate their life choices, for instance, work-life balance, bearing children, freeing oneself out of bad situations, managing their careers, and setting their financial goals. When women can effectively manage these life goals, authentic leadership qualities often emanate among them. Highly authentic women leaders determinedly design their personal lives according to their top-most life precedence.
“If they can’t lift you. They can’t drop you. Step into your power” (The Purposeful Leader – 10 Steps to Becoming the Leader You are Born to Be – On Amazon) There are four significant strategies women can apply to lead authentically. Women must increase their self-awareness. Increasing self-awareness is one vital component of acting authentically. It also makes women acceptable and trusted with leadership positions. Once women know their strengths and values, they must adequately assess and also evaluate themselves and pinpoint what is best for them.
After evaluating themselves, women must take action, starting with smaller steps and slowly integrate the values that align with their values and behaviours. Getting support from men helps in personal development among women and the promotion of gender equality in society. Developing authentic leadership qualities requires risks and women having faith in their judgments. When in power, women must also avoid acting like men as it makes them lose their authenticity. Trusting in their talents and abilities is what makes women authentic leaders.
Women must not be overjoyed by the powers granted to them while in leadership positions. They must make judgments and act beyond the societal stereotypes to pave the way for other young leaders after them to see them as authentic leaders. They can do this by creating gender equality programs to help upcoming women leaders know their worth in the society.Women in leadership positions must also have a personal social responsibility to create and motivate other leaders. They must immediately start capitalizing on their instant successors so that we can create a ripple effect.
Leadership must be quantifiable, and one effective way to do so is the creation of a more authentic leader. They also need to exhibit the qualities that made earn those positions. That is what makes gender equality in leadership more sustainable.
Article By: Cynthia Musafili Wright, A speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, Aged Care Clinical Consultant and Philanthropist.
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Oyetola Oduyemi: Thoughts on IWD 2020 – Each for Equal
Oyetola Oduyemi, Executive Director at tengvoX Consulting
Each for equal to me means – Acceptance. Fairness. Partnership. Support. Giving opportunities along lines of competence, skills, interest, desire, ability. Not gender or race or tribe, or any divides irrelevant, or that should be irrelevant, to the pivotal task of nation-building that we have at hand.
Parts make up the whole. When some parts are prevented from performing their roles, or are rendered ineffective and can only perform sub optimally, the state of ‘wholeness’ will never be achieved. When the human population takes away the opportunities for women to contribute to advancement – of communities, countries, continents, and the planet, due to fears, insecurities, cultural history, ignorance, and stereotypes; we will never achieve the level of development needed to propel us forward as a people. We need to support one another, to achieve our goals of sustainable progress.
Changes I want to see
Do not underestimate, or ignore the potential of women. Nor should anyone be threatened by this. We need less competition and more collaboration unhindered by gender lines.
One company adopted the pose of a man and a woman combining to strike the #eachforequal pose. This resonated strongly with me because it spoke of partnership, alliance, cooperation of all; each gender- man and woman, collectively taking a stand for equality. This is what we need – to collaboratively create a gender equal world, free from labels and preconceptions.
To the women, I applaud us. Our uniqueness, strength, and drive. And I encourage us to not give in or give up. When faced with existent discrimination, we have two choices. The injustice of being treated and viewed with prejudice can be demoralizing, but as women we must stay strong and motivated. Make the choice to drive gender parity, be letting all see that we are not only capable, we are indeed invaluable. Let us choose to stay present, and give our best.Not just for ourselves, but also for generations of women to come.
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Bukola Bankole: Thoughts on IWD 2020 – Each For Equal
Bukola Bankole Partner, TNP
International Women’s Day is a day of reflection and celebration of everything we’ve achieved especially over the past century. This year’s theme #EachForEqual is about equality. There has been an uprising in recent times about the need for constructive inclusiveness of women in all aspects of human life.
What does this really mean? – it means eradicating all forms of double standard against women, putting an end to marginalization for no reason other than gender. Women around the world have exhibited what would happen if the standards are as favorable to us as it has always been for the men folk!
I’m a firm believer that our collective wisdom and strength has the power to transform every aspect of suffering in the world. The theme #EachForEqual, is drawn from the idea of “collective individualism”. Our individual actions, conversations, behaviors and mindset have an impact on our larger society and collectively, we can take away the gender stigmatization, change the narrative and create a gender equal world. Because, an equal world is an enabled world.
Let’s not forget, equality in so many ways must start with respect. So, I want to see a world where women are championed, a world where we celebrate women and girls just as much as we celebrate men and boys, where we are given the same opportunities, a world where men celebrate our achievements, our triumphs and our successes.
This, is the agenda. It’s in pushing for gender equality in the boardroom, in government, in the media, at the workplace, in investments, in health and even more in wealth. Equality is everyone’s business, each one of us has an important role to play in making this a reality. It remains our duty as a modern society to respect one another and to foster a culture in which each individual is respected and supported to thrive, regardless of gender.