March is the month of the celebration of women, it is also so significant it happens to be my birth month as well. This year’s theme I find very interesting, and I believe should speak more to women than men. There are a lot of inherent toxic biases women seem to carry nowadays which makes them unnecessarily aggressive in the workplace, making it seem like successful C-suite executive and kindness cannot function together in one person. The bias that women must be ruthless and brutal to be successful. I believe this speaks to a lot of traumas experienced by women growing up and how a patriarchal society has been generally unkind to women.
Nigeria is such a unique country, with so many hardships faced at various levels, economically, politically, power outages, inflation, unemployment, insecurity. Audacious corruption at every strata of government and across parastatals supposed to be custodians of law and order. It is a tough place to be a woman trying to climb the corporate ladder or build a successful business. It’s almost like an extreme sport everyday constantly. How can women rise above all these?
I have met so many women with very low emotional intelligence who react to situations instead of responding, who are carrying so much unhealed trauma and apparently aren’t aware there is a need of for therapy and healing, a need to forgive and be whole. Advancing as women in career, it is important to begin to break the biases that exist.
It is okay for an ambitious woman to have a career break to have children.
It is okay to be kind, be assertive and be able to set boundaries.
It is okay to desire and champion the success of other women and men even if you are qualified for the same role.
It is okay to be vulnerable, it is not a sign of weakness.
It is okay to be a feminine leader and being feminine doesn’t mean sexy or incompetent.
Some of these seemingly obvious assertions cause a lot of tensions, between men and women. Society as we know it has evolved and it has become important to begin to review the terms of engagement of both men and women with the roles reviewed. We are in seasons where a man could be a better cook than the wife, a better home planner than the wife or better at kids than the wife. A man being able and willing to take these roles does not make him less than a man neither does it make the woman a horrible wife. There is so much that needs to change on the demands of society regarding roles.
One of the most important things is to understand first this person is a human being deserving to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of gender, socioeconomic background, tribe or religion. Be kind to each other, a dose of kindness and cheer from you daily goes a long way. Finally, be open to always identifying your biases and be open to continuously relearning and unlearning.
Happy International Women’s Day!