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"Even if the woman is bright and can achieve heights in her career, she has to sacrifice.."

Updated: Mar 25, 2023

“I've been working as a software engineer for two years now at a company. However, I have noticed that my male colleague in the same role is receiving a higher salary than I am…”

Women have been fighting for equality for centuries, and although great strides have been made in many areas, there is still a long way to go. Women are still subject to unequal treatment in the workplace, and this not only affects their careers but also their confidence. “As he is a good friend of mine, I have seen his payslips. This is unfair, I believe this bias is rooted in gender stereotypes and the assumption that women are not capable or committed as men, unki toh shaadi ho jayegi aur chali jayengi (women will get married and leave the company).”

Some women have to make a tough choice between taking care of their family and their careers. This is a continuous challenge that women face in balancing work and family life, the most common sacrifice being leaving their careers to take care of their children. “This is what happens, so even if the woman is bright and can achieve heights in her career, she has to sacrifice her career because of the social and cultural obligations..”

In addition to unequal salary, A says that one might notice the general behavior of the male colleagues towards women. They often dismiss her opinions or ideas by saying that she "must not be knowing this" or that she is "stupid." This type of language is not only used by her male colleagues but her male friends as well. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour is all too common, even when the person may not have intended to act this way.

“It is disheartening to see this but I try my best to be vocal about it. No one should be made to feel like this, be it a man or a woman.”

This can lead to mansplaining, when a man explains something to a woman in a condescending or patronising manner, as if she is incapable of understanding the subject matter.

In addition to these, women may also experience more subtle forms of marginalisation and belittlement in their daily lives. For example, they may be interrupted or talked over in conversations, or their ideas may be dismissed or ignored in meetings or group settings. “The amount of time I have been interrupted by my friends, colleagues and even in my family is just…I have lost count and this is now normalized..”

All of these experiences are common and can be incredibly damaging to a woman's sense of self-worth and confidence. It's important for us to recognise the ways in which these can be contributing to this culture of belittlement and to actively work to change our behavior. Only by working together can we create a world where women are truly valued and appreciated for their intelligence and abilities.

The writer's name has been kept confidential to respect their request for anonymity.

1 Comment

Vaishnavi Kvr
Vaishnavi Kvr
Mar 25, 2023

More power to you 💛

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