5 Things To Challenge on International Women's Day 2021


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5 Things To Challenge on International Women's Day 2021

Hello everyone, It's the week of International Women's Day (IWD), and I wanted to share my thoughts on how we can make tech a better place to work for women. This year's theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and this article will be all about calling out things that we can't accept. Let's start ๐Ÿš€

This article is a part of #ChooseToChallenge campaign by Hashnode

1. Interview Process

This is not a hidden fact that women are treated differently from men during interviews. They get asked absurd questions that just don't make sense. I think a professional should be judged based on their skills and knowledge, but this is not the case for many women. Some of the questions are:

  • Are you married?
  • Is your husband fine for relocation?
  • What is your relationship status?
  • If we hire you, what is the guarantee that you won't leave the company for personal reasons?

These are personal questions that will make anyone uncomfortable and shouldn't be asked in the interview. I #ChooseToChallenge companies to make a change and transform the workplace into a more welcoming for women.


2. Stereotype Stigma

Women are often denied promotion to positions with more significant responsibilities just because of gender stereotypes. This is why we don't see more women in leadership positions, which needs to change.

Their confidence is seen as ego. They are expected to be emotional while men are seen as rational. They are labeled as chatty if they choose to express themselves and shy if they don't.

People chose to associate attributes like ambition, competence, rationality, leader to a man and think that only a man fits in an ideal 'leader' image. We have to rethink what a leader is, and it has nothing to do with any gender.

If a man becomes a leader, he is simply accepted as one without any second guess. But if a woman is given a leadership role, she has to work twice as hard to prove her worth and be accepted. Why this discrimination?

I #ChooseToChallenge such stereotypes come in the way of success for women who deserve it. I #ChooseToChallenge the mindset that sees only a man as an ideal leader and hesitates to give women a chance to prove that they can be equally good and even better.

Reference: 85 % of Women in India have missed out on a raise or promotion because of their gender

3. Bias against Maternity Leave

We talked about the Interview Process in the first section, and one of the questions was about 'relationship status.' HRs will often ask female interviewees such questions to know if there is any possibility of them taking maternity leave. If they end up taking an extended leave, it is seen as a sign that she is not bringing value to the company and based on these points, they reject the application.

Not only that, they often have to face bullying and discrimination as soon as they tell the company about pregnancy and even after when they return to the workplace after they leave.

I #ChooseToChallenge this discrimination and the workplace which practices this. This is not something that can be referred to as 'Professional,' and we should call out if we see such behavior.

4. Work Location

Many women have to face setbacks on their dream job because they are denied choosing a location to work on their preference. Sometimes, it is not possible to relocate for various reasons, and I think the employer should allow selecting the place of work.

We live in 2021, where we know for sure that remote working is possible. The idea of having flexible work hours and preferred work location is the way to go, and it will support a massive number of women employees.

5. Sexist Jokes

This is something that exists beyond the boundaries of work and all the professional women deal with daily. From commenting on makeup to questioning their driving skills, what men feel funny is often harsh and insulting.

The sad part of these practices is women often do not speak up about such trends. I'm not sure who needs to hear this but please stop undermining women while trying to be 'funny.'

I #ChooseToChallenge such behavior. Dear Men, we can do better.

I am not saying that all the men are to question here. The world is a nice place with much more good people than the not-good one. I'm only referring to people who need to hear this.

That's it for this article. I would be glad if this article supports the IWD initiative in any way.

I'm sure there are much more practices that need to be questioned, and we have to make massive changes. With these initiatives, I am confident that we are going in the right direction and will definitely reach there someday.


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