Women At Work!

I always say that before a Marketer, I am a creative writer. Honestly, I don’t even remember when I started writing. I have had a personal blog (currently under revamp) since 2007. I use that space to share my poems, fictional short stories, audio blogs, and thoughts.

As a young woman blogger, I have faced a lot of criticism for choosing bold topics to write about on my blog. I come from an era where women were not allowed to talk/discuss the menstrual cycle, put their opinion about love marriage openly, or even talk/write against inequality in their professional/personal life. But like my mother used to say with a smile, I am one fearless child of God.

My posts’ topics are the result of my random thoughts. A few days back, I was sitting quietly and revisiting my memories of past employers, colleagues, and friends I made during this marketing journey. It has been a roller coaster ride for me, especially the part where, I came across professionals with different background and cultures. I have seen the extremes. I have worked with the most amazing people who became my friends but one piece of reality is also that we can’t make friends out of all our colleagues.

I respect different opinions and believe that we must learn to agree in disagreements but there are two kinds of people I cannot tolerate. The first one are the men who shout most about women’s empowerment on social platforms but keep their eyes on women’s private parts as if they have x-rays fixed in their eyes. I find such people the most dangerous ones. And the second kind are the men who try to overpower women by raising their voice, thinking they belong to a superior gender. If you are surprised to know about second kind then trust me, we have such people. I faced a few in past.

I am blessed to work in a company where these things are not just taken seriously but we often have workshops addressing such difficult issues. Currently, I am working in a safe environment but it wasn’t the case every time in the past. Even when I founded a company, I came across clients who thought it is easy to get discounts from a woman entrepreneur, and if they do not get a discount, then they must get “something” in return from her.

I am not writing this post to thrash men. I am surrounded by the most supportive men, both personally and professionally. I always knew that if an uncomfortable situation arises, I will have the back of many men who will become my shield. But I never got into a situation where I couldn’t deal on my own. I was named Durga when I was born by a Hindu priest, and like I previously shared, my mother called me a fearless child of God for a reason. 😄

The most important thing that I have learned in the corporate world is to set boundaries, irrespective of gender/s. If a professional comes to me to get support, I will do everything in my power to support that person. But if someone tries to overpower me by raising their voice or expecting me to give some personal favours, I am one bad*** woman.

You know, an incident happened in the past where a male colleague didn’t allow me to speak and started raising his voice at me in front of almost 15 people in the meeting. He was senior to me. I tried communicating my side of the story but with every passing minute, his voice was raising. I listened for good 10 minutes but after that, I shouted at my highest pitch, ‘Will you listen?’. He didn’t expect any woman to respond/react like this. I was the first one for him to do this. There was a pin-drop silence so I came back to my normal pitch and said,

I am open to hearing everything you want to say but not in this tone or pitch. You go and have some water and then if you think you can talk like an educated man, I will be happy to talk to you. Ping me when you think you’re a human again. Till then, Take care, Bbye!
And I left the meeting.

This was the first and last (until now) time when I raised my voice at a colleague. I am not proud of the way I yelled but I certainly take the pride in not allowing people to shun me because of my gender. The only reason to take this step is because I noticed that he used to treat all female colleagues like this. He never had the guts to speak to a male colleague in this tone.

I hardly found any female colleagues who stood against such male chauvinists. The women professionals either keep struggling or believe that it is “only” their responsibility to build relations within the organization. I see myriad of female colleagues suppressing their emotions to simply, survive in an organization. They live in a fear of getting judged or even fired.

I find myself extremely fortunate to be backed by my family and above all, an amazing husband who keep assuring me that I am good at my job. He keeps telling me that like I need a good employer, organizations need good employees too. And if you don’t feel respected, move out. I will be your back in your lows and vice versa.

This assurance that there is someone to be my support makes me the person I am. We often say that professional and personal lives are different. I beg to disagree here. According to me, both are interdependent. Without working, I will not have finances to live the life of my dreams, and without a supportive family and friends, I will not be able to pursue my dream career like I want to.

Before I close this post full of emotions and random thoughts, I would like to share one last thing. While I love when people wish me on women’s day, I somehow do not resonate with the thought of choosing a day to celebrate womanhood. I feel the same for men’s day. Why do we need a day to celebrate a gender? This isn’t equality!

I do not want to disrespect anyone who wished me on women’s day. I am truly grateful to all of you. But I genuinely look for a day when we celebrate humanity over gender. 😊

And girls, you are as good as any other gender. Do not allow anyone to pull you down. Keep your empathy intact but set boundaries too.

Anyone who says that women are stronger than man emotionally is wrong!
We are not just emotionally strong… we are physically strong too. Trust me, if men had to do delivery, we would not have the population we have today. 😄 We just underestimate ourselves.

So, let the world know that they worship the Goddess of knowledge (Saraswati), Goddess of wealth (Lakshmi), Goddess of Power (Durga), Goddess of food (Annapurna), Goddess of love and compassion (Radha), and Mother of God (Mother Mary). You are all of it. If they insult you, they must know who they are insulting! 😊

Note: This post is first published at my LinkedIn newsletter. (Link)

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