The facts above give a better idea of the progress and what remains to be improved. Society and regulation have changed to make it fair to women, which allowed many barriers to be broken. However, did women changed their mindset? The perception of having a “seat at the table” is key in getting there in the first place. A job title doesn’t make a leader but being a leader might score women that job title they’re after! Achieving this requires thinking differently.
What does “sitting at the table” mean? In a business context it means being part of conversations and meetings, it’s about being involved in things that matter. Be a player on the field and avoid sitting on the bench. Let’s take the soccer analogy; a team is allowed to have as many players as they want, but only 11 can be on the field. Even the best players don’t keep the ball for an entire match. Likewise, women don’t need to know everything, just enough to favor a win!
For some, this may seem hard to achieve, or a little overwhelming. However, it’s important to be strategic when it comes to picking meetings and any other activities to get involved in. It’s okay to skip the ones where there is nothing to get out of. Even then, the meeting agenda might not be rewarding but networking with the participants is. At one point everything needs to be put in balance to make sure there is no time wasting.
Sometimes, women think they have nothing to bring to the table. That’s a negative thought preventing them from taking a seat at the table! It might not be clear at first but participating and getting involved will give them a better picture of the value they have to offer. Moreover, others will see it too.
Then, it’s time to start thinking about becoming the head of the table. The sooner women can start in their career, the more they increase their chances of leading. It will also give them higher chances of getting promoted to different levels. On the contrary, previous avoidance behaviour might make it harder to score management position.
Consequently, stereotypes that have an impact on women role or status at work are reinforced. Moreover, women can discriminate women, because they’re somehow wired to think of men as more competent. Not talking about it doesn’t mean it has not effect.