Women Empowerment beyond the month of August
A focus on women in the workplace has to go beyond the month of August- it has to be a daily focus on the real challenges facing women in our organisations. Our duty as leaders is to create an environment where women will not only succeed but thrive because :
- Their voice is heard, loud and clear
- The work environment takes into account their family commitments
- We are brutal in taking action when there are incidents of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination, corporate bullying and abuse of positions by those in leadership positions
- There are clear career opportunities with visible progress and promotions into senior roles
- Women are paid in a fair, transparent and equitable manner and are not prejudiced because of their gender
- We are supportive when women are going through a divorce, are in an abusive relationship, can’t have children, have a child with disabilities and are balancing their work, home and studies
- Young women can see many role models in key positions in organisations
This is only part of the barometer by which we should judge our progress or lack thereof. Such a barometer must evaluate all of us from the highest levels of organisations, through to business units, to individual teams and to the lower levels of organisations.
This can only be done if this becomes a daily and regular focus and not something we focus on only in August. Finally, although we have some pockets of progress in certain organisations, we are way behind from where we need to be. We have to tackle women empowerment with the speed and urgency this deserves, beyond mere lip service and public relation exercises.