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The global IT scene these days isn’t very rosy. Now how much of it is due to Trump is something I leave up to the experts to discuss. For me, the day to day changes that I see and their effects are more relevant. And that’s what has led to this post.
In the last couple of months, several projects have been downsized to keep up with the changing dynamics in the IT Industry. It’s not that these things didn’t happen before. But now they are noticed more and cause more of a worry to all. Or, let’s just say they are now only seen through the lens of turmoil in the industry. Anyways. While on the point of downsizing, let me relate a very recent incident to you.
A woman was told she had so many ‘additional commitments‘ that they thought it was better to release her from the project. So, not because she wasn’t good at what she did or was a troublemaker at work, she was released because she had the ‘additional responsibility of being a mother‘.
A couple of months back I got acquainted with a woman at work. We got talking and found out that we both were sort of in similar situations. She too had a daughter whom she had to leave at home every day while she came to work. There were days when she would also wonder, like me, if this sacrifice of being away from her little one was actually worth it. Every day she would walk into work around 8 to 8:30 am. Also, just like me. She would even have lunch at her desk to save time because she too had to finish her work and rush off home by 5 or 6 in the evening. In fact, she was just like thousands of other working mothers who don’t take breaks in order to fulfil their professional commitments within strict timelines. She was like every working mum who lives from one task to another just to go home in time to be with her kids. She was sincere and hardworking but in the end that didn’t matter, did it?
The project she was working on was suddenly downsized. And the superiors decided to keep her male peer in the team instead of her. Why? Well, because she had so many ‘additional commitments’ that they thought it was better to release her from the project. So, not because she wasn’t good at what she did or was a troublemaker at work, she was released because she had the ‘additional responsibility of being a mother’.
The glass ceiling still hasn't been shattered adequately for all women to make it through to the… Click To Tweet
Tell me if that is fair? I think not. Merit isn’t a bother when it comes to choosing between a man and a woman. Yes, even today. Then there are those people who still think talking about gender equality is an overreaction. Just because you haven’t faced gender bias at work doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist is what I always tell them. But it’s exasperating nonetheless.
Motherhood is seen as a negative quality for a working woman. It is the elephant in the room that employers don’t talk about but make decisions based on.
The problem is it is men who are almost always the decision makers everywhere. The glass ceiling still hasn’t been shattered adequately for all women to make it through to the other side without their every step being thwarted. Those that have almost always forget to reach out through the cracks and pull up more women. In their efforts to blend in with the men around them, who are almost always in the overwhelming majority, they forget that they could change the dynamics by being a mentor to other women. Till women at higher positions don’t take it upon themselves to do something about this imbalance of power, more women will not be able to make the cut when a project is being downsized or a company is considering layoffs.
Tell me, do you know a woman who has faced a similar situation? What would you do if you were in her place?
This post is part of the #FeministMondays series (previously called #IAmAFeminist series) on the blog. Inspired by a TEDx talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists, I intend to talk about the need for feminism through my posts, posts on my experience and observation as a female. I intend to talk about issues concerning women.
Join me and let’s work towards a world of gender parity. Remember, each voice counts. Tell me your story.