How to shape a more equal future at the office article image

 

 

How to shape a more equal future at the office – this generation’s ordinary women can become the changemakers. Generations of women have been paving the way for their peers in the fight for women’s rights and equality. Although we have come a long way, this is an ongoing struggle, and the job is not done yet. How can you, as an ordinary working woman, play your part in this generation to leave a memorable legacy as one of the dynamic change makers?

 

Here are 5 ways how ordinary women can become change makers to help shape a more equal workplace for women in future.

 

Start with the “woman” in the mirror:. Don’t just call for change, change yourself too. Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in this world” so let us begin to live up to that!

1.      Find your voice and stand up for yourself.

Melinda Gates said: “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” If you are scared to speak up or to stand up for yourself, chances are you lack confidence. You may even be having false illusions that you can’t make a real difference. Make a mind shift to showcase your sheer determination, with confidence, at the office and during meetings. If you battle to do this, consider upskilling in self-confidence and practice this skill daily.

2.      Effective Communication.

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success” said Paul J. Meyer. Change makers in the workplace need people and communication skills. If you develop effective communication skills, you will not only be able to actively listen to people, but you will also be able to properly formulate and voice your ideas and opinions. Immediately, you will be recognised as a clever, well versed, and influential team member. And as John Powell said, “Communication works for those who work at it.”

3.      Become flexible to change.

Embrace change –  don’t try fighting it. Flexibility goes hand in hand with open-mindedness and remaining positive about ideas and suggestions. By continuously developing your skills, you learn new things and innovate your mind to stay relevant. This will imprint that you are a dynamic woman who is able to handle anything that comes her way.

4.      Lead with Emotional Intelligence

Lao Tzu said, “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” Self-awareness and the ability to put yourself in the shoes of others helps you to lead with empathy. Leaders who are change makers lead with emotional intelligence skills and create sound relationships with people. These relationships build followers. Just look at the countries headed by women. They led their countries with empathy through the COVID pandemic. Their swift actions and understanding of EQ helped them create crisis strategies aligned with the concerns of their people. These change makers showed us the great success you can achieve with EQ.

5.      Mentoring and Empowering other women.

You can’t just sit back and think fighting for women’s rights and equality in the workplace is someone else’s problem. It’s like nurturing a vegetable garden. What you put into your garden; you will get out. It’s up to every generation of women to teach, educate and guide the next generation of women. And it starts with your own daughters. Teach them independence. Help them find their voices. Build them up. Educate them on what’s right. Empower them. Hillary Clinton sums it up in her message, “To all of the little girls {who are watching this}, never doubt that you are valuable and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

“Any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage in the modern world,” said Tian Wei from CCTV News. Women have so much to offer societies and workplaces. So many women want to stand up for their rights; crave to be part of decision-making processes; want to fight for equality; and desire to see real transformation in the workplace. But if you don’t know how to be actively involved in the change at this stage, start with yourself.

Elmarie Pretorius

Elmarie has facilitated various strategic and training interventions for clients such as Sasol, Discovery, Volkswagen SA, Wilderness Safaris, AHA Hotels, Vumatel, Cellucity, FCS Namibia, Iemas, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa, Caxton, Assupol, Premier Foods, Bosphorus Conferences (Turkey) and SAAB Grintech Defense.

For more information visit https://www.themindspa.co.za/index.php

 

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