Even today, I get this question?if women are capable?why do they need that extra treatment? I do not want to waste the entire space answering that question?which many have answered during all these years?but let me try to summarize the answer before moving to the real issue.
The workplace and business culture of today have evolved over centuries, dominated by men. So, naturally all its rules?and most importantly the culture?have evolved, according to their needs. If some intervention is needed to change that to make it more conducive for both the sexes, what is the issue?
The cover story in this issue deliberates on the issues of diversity at the workplace?what has changed and what had not.
Most women now agree that diversity is not just about numbers. Women must get equal responsibility and equal pay. While we have miles to go, we can take some satisfaction from the fact that, there is an implicit acknowledgment in that statement?numbers have become far better. It was not so, fifteen years back. Years of discourse is paying off?to some extent, at least.
Another welcome change in the thinking of successful women business leaders is that many now explicitly say, women must rise to the occasion and match men, not just in work performance but talking about the success, proactively taking on newer challenges. In fact, one woman leader even said, ?the ball is in our court.? That is as confident as it can get. Yes, women can win. When I say women?and differentiate between the plural and the singular, it is intentional. At individual level, there is nothing for them to prove. At collective level, a lot remains.
But what is not so good news is that most women?while acknowledging the changes at the workplace?still think society?especially the men at home have not changed as fast. The challenge is still from family expectations and more than that?from the looking down upon women with ambition. That is something that needs to change.
And there is little that most well-intentioned organizations can do about it. The change has to happen at homes.
We men must change.
Read the CIO&Leader February 2020 Magazine.Nike Series