I would like to believe that we are raising our children in a world where gender, culture and colour don’t matter, but we all know that unfortunately that is not the case.
Today, women in the workplace are still facing significant challenges, and are all too often having to fight harder than their counterparts for a seat at the boardroom table.
Having started up Bizmod Consulting with two other women, we have been at the forefront of experiencing the challenges women in business can face as well as learning to navigate often treacherous waters.
The lessons I have learnt along the way are:
• As women we need to help one another, if we are going to move forward collectively and consistently. Women who don’t help one another are one of the biggest barriers to achieving the equality we are fighting for.
• Ask for what you want! Don’t be afraid to demand your worth.
• Be who you are – you can’t pretend to be something you not forever. Be proud to be a woman!
• Work together with your male colleagues – diversity in leadership is what will set your business apart. We all have different strengths and attributes and by working together great things can happen. Our differences are what allow us to view aspects from different perspectives.
• Men may never understand the challenges women face in the workplace but you can encourage their empathy and in the long run their support.
Our endeavours and those of the women before us are allowing for many women to have broader choices and with that society is becoming more accepting of these. We can choose aggressive career paths, we can choose to be stay-at-home moms, we can choose to be entrepreneurs, we can choose to be indispensable employees, and we can choose to be comfortable in our choices.
Remember, the more women leaders we have in every aspect of life, the easier it becomes for the next generation.
Anne-Marie Pretorius is the Managing Director of Bizmod Consulting.