I might be a woman but treat me like a man!
Ok yes, probably a bit of a strong title, but this is something that’s winding me up at the moment. Don’t get me wrong I am all for women in leadership and equality in the workplace, but don’t treat me like an expert in my market if you don’t think that, and certainly don’t promote me or hire me if it isn’t on merit alone.
I have always been one of the “boys”, even from a small girl I was often referred to as a “tomboy” or overhear people telling my parents I should have been a boy as I could hold my own in most sports, or get stuck into DIY. Whilst I appreciate that not all 30 something women own a pair of steel cap boots there is a hell of a lot of us who do and don’t find the need to shout about it to be accepted by the menfolk. I have never looked at myself or identified as having either male or female traits, I’m just me and want to be measured on my capabilities, and for the measurement to be done on outcomes and a fair playing field.
I feel that sometimes when we promote women in leadership it can sometimes be seen as a tick box exercise. I would hate to take a job or a position at a company where the fact that I was a woman was seen as a “bonus”. I interviewed for a business whose opening statement was they are seen as a bit of a boy’s club and having a woman on the team would help to break this. Well, no thanks mate!
A part of me wants to move the ‘women in leadership’ promotion on a notch. We all celebrate new and exciting hires for women. We honour all-new women in positions of power and influence, but we now need to follow their story. Let’s give these people a platform to celebrate their continued success, how they moved the business forward – after earning their posts. Let’s not do what so many people do, a patronising pat on the back and then forget about them until they need to highlight some D&I initiative.
Please don’t think I am trying to belittle some of the fantastic work that is going on out there, I’m not. All I ask is that if you are going to bang the women in leadership drum don’t let it be for the wrong reasons. Look at you whole workforce and develop all equally, trust me the cream will rise to the top, but on merit.
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