A woman’s success should be accepted, celebrated, and set an example for others. But is it?
Being judged for being in top positions is common among both women and men. However, within a society that is yet to accept equality in every nook and corner, women tend to face more than normal. Sadly, this is the case among mid-level successful superiors too. Not only do they have to work hard to be successful, but also to make sure they don’t misrepresent themselves. Sometimes, this leads to compromising their own personality in front of others.
1. Cold-hearted: never be too perfect!
When a woman is following the rules, she is an “Ice Queen”. When she lets few things off the hook, she’s seen as conniving. But consider a man doing the same things. He would be called a rule adhering boss or a boss who is empathetic.
That is how companies work. Then, why is there any need to focus on the personality of women, when they bring you results? She knows what she’s doing, and does it affect her work. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t have been in that position in the first place – just like anyone else.
2. Too manly: Cinderella in a tuxedo!
Some career-focused women rock short hair while wearing a shirt and trousers. Others prefer to wear skirts and blouses. Whatever the choice maybe be, they choose the look within the confines of a formal or appropriate dress code. No matter what they choose, there is always pressure within dressing appropriately but “feminine enough”. The worst part, men don’t need to be worried about their outfits. All they have to do is pick a decent outfit. They only need to focus on work, unlike women.
“You have an important meeting, and as a women couldn’t you wear something more womanly??”
3. Lonely worker: an old single lady!
For any person irrespective of their culture or background, there is always an unspoken marriage age. You’ll never get married if you aren’t married by that age. In general, it is common for men to have this age set at a much later stage of their life, as opposed to women who have the age set much earlier in life.
This influence on the workspace is huge. Women are immediately called “old” by entering into their early 30’s. Despite working hard, compromising on their own luxuries like vacation and hobbies, the pressure of staying single exists. A man can be referred to as a “bachelor”, but women, “lonely old lady” or even worse, a “spinster”.
4. Weak: don’t be angry, be a woman!
The most disheartening example for this, a situation told by former First Lady, Michelle Obama in her book. While campaigning for her husband in the presidential election in 2008. In the beginning, she was an “angry black woman” for stating opinions and concerns on societal issues. She realized the public view wasn’t going to change until she compromised on her personality. After working on a different view on her personality, she came to be known for her dressing and infinite support for her husband. A Harvard-trained lawyer who worked on multiple cases compromised on her perfectly normal identity because she is a woman.
If a lady uses harsh words, she is heartless and manly. If she uses subtle words, she is weak. Women known as weak are ideal women, supposedly don’t have leadership skills. Whereas a man can be weak or strong, yet be a great leader. Mahatma Gandi is a leader, while Mother Theresa is famous for being a saint. Though the present situation is quite different, these examples tend to influence the present generation.
5. The diversity ticket
When you combine workspace and home, it is the women who tend to do more jobs than the men. If you recollect about your home or family-related situations, it is always the women who come to help. If both wife and husband are working, women tend to do 3/4th of the at-hot-jobs. This practice is a practiced subconscious and sometimes conscious stereotype that inflicts many homes.
In the workspace, colleagues argue that men and women should be treated equally. They point out that giving preference to one gender would be discrimination. According to Heidi and Howard’s case study, women and men are equally competent. Women are less confident despite working hard, men are more confident despite not working that hard as they should.
If people still think women don’t deserve their “diversity ticket” after knowing everything, maybe there is no hope for women surviving in this world as equals. Thankfully, that’s not the case. There are people working on it and developing many case studies, debates, and discussions on women’s leadership. Diversifying the workplace helps the company or organization in the long term.
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”
― Michelle Obama
No good comes through talking behind their back
There are many more stereotypes about successful women. It varies depending on the field in which they work. If a person is doing their job, without breaking the rules, there is no reason to comment negatively on a woman’s personality. She is who she is, and she should be accepted. Suppressing a woman for her style/personality would only lead to losing a potential candidate who could have done wonders.