I was recently talking to a senior leader in tech. He is also the father of a teenage daughter. Means that he is automatically more in tune with gender issues around us.
His push back was that women do not need to improve their capability. Instead, men do. I loved his humility and intent. And no arguments there. If we want to create an equal world for both genders, then everyone needs to learn a bunch of new skills.
When it comes to any situation, I go back to the age-old wisdom we always hear, that the way we react is in our hands.
You cannot change the way people treat you, you can change the way you respond to it.
I am not for a moment saying that the future of equality lies only on women’s shoulders. This is a battle that impacts everyone, and each of she/her, he/him, they/them, ze/hir has to put their shoulder to the wheel.
The world has been patriarchal for as long as history was formally recorded. So expecting to change overnight isn’t realistic. Yet, we need to do something, and not wait for others to solve it.
The concept of equality fundamentally means that everyone plays a role, even identifying the simple signs of Yes and No.
So when I say, we women need capability building, I mean that we need to flex our muscles on saying No. We need to shed our inhibitions and insecurities to chase our dreams. We need to be able to fight for our share of rewards and recognition. We need to be able to stretch out into bigger roles.
We need to shed the imposter syndrome and perfectionism that weighs us down. And many more of such social tags that have been creating roadblocks. This is a capability that many of us struggle with. And hence it needs strengthening.