#SWAAYthenarrative

How to Stand Up for Women's Rights in the Workplace

Career

Women have been marginalized throughout the years in many aspects, especially when it comes to job opportunities. Some people think that females are not built for work because they lack the physical and mental strength. They fail to see that women have made history and shared in the success of many countries, so how are they still seen as unequal?

People are becoming more aware of the cruelty of gender inequality. The problem is, women can become gender-biased due to the internalized misogyny that they have been exposed to since they were just little girls. So, here are some ways to support women's rights in the workplace and make others join too.

Employment Access

Have you ever heard that a man was asked whether his personal life affects his work or not? Then why are women being asked questions that are unrelated to the job? The interviewer will dig deep into the applicant's life just because she is a woman. It is even worse when a woman gets rejected for her gender, even if she fits the description or is overqualified for the job.

If you work in human resources, you can try and change the course of the sexist interviews and stick to the main question regardless of the sex of the interviewee. Also, you can point out that a woman's effectiveness should not be questioned just because she has kids.

Seminars

Everyone should be responsible for educating themselves when they are old enough to do their own research, but sometimes you need to spoon-feed some people's information and educate them on other people's rights. For instance, as a business owner or manager, you should give lectures every now and then about the importance of gender equality in the workplace so that even when clients arrive, they will know about your work ethics from how your employees treat each other.

Hire a Lawyer

According to recent statistics, 90% of women experience sexual and verbal harassment at least once in their lives. It is even worse when they face that in their work environment, where they have to go every day and look at their abuser without being able to retaliate. Sometimes, even if they decide to speak up to the head of the office, they will be dismissed and end up feeling even more humiliated.

Sometimes you have to seek legal assistance if you get exposed to gender discrimination as a female employee. It is not easy to risk your job and file a lawsuit against the company, but as the experienced attorneys at this Nashville employment law firm emphasize, a reliable lawyer will stand up for you and do everything in their power to give you your right back. The horrors you can face in a racist or sexist company will be alleviated with the help of a dedicated lawyer.

Close the Pay Gap

If you are in a place of power, use it wisely in favor of every employee. It cannot be denied that salaries differ for the same position according to gender. Women advocates have been fighting for equal pay for years, so if you are a manager, your role is to ensure that everyone is treated fairly when the payment is due. If you're a regular employee, know your pay rights and get legal help if needed.

Management Diversity

People still believe that women are fragile and too emotional that they cannot be leaders. If a female is a company's CEO, a team leader, or a partner, employees under her command will tend to undermine her power. They will question her decisions and doubt her every move because they think they know better than a woman.

Moreover, some managers do not promote women because they don't want them to crawl up the power chain. Your role is to call for diverse management and promote the inclusion of employees, regardless of their gender or ethnicity.

Speak Up

Never stay silent nor accept to be shut down by fellow workers. Your voice matters and your ideas can bring gold to the company. Also, speak up against violence, discrimination, and harassment. You have every right to call people out for being unethical or sexist. Praise other females when they develop professionally. Furthermore, criticize everyone equally and don't be biased to your gender or the opposite one.

You don't have to be the head of the company to make a change. All you need to be is a believer in women's rights and a supporter of the fact that people deserve equal chances in life. So, if you are against sexism and aspire to live in a world where the workplace is a safe environment for all, then you should partake in the change you want to see. It can get challenging sometimes because you may not always know which direction to go, but after reading this, we think you will get a fair idea.

5 min read
Lifestyle

Working From Home While Parenting in a Pandemic. The Juggle is Real.

I had just finished putting my toddler down for a nap when my 3-month-old cried out from the next room — hungry. Again. As I slowly backed out of the room so as not to disturb the nap that took five diligently-read books to achieve, I glanced at my watch — just five minutes to spare before my scheduled Zoom meeting.

As a mom, I'm in this like everyone else — not knowing what tomorrow will look like and doing my best day by day.

While I was going through these familiar motions, I thought how am I making this work? After talking to more moms just like me, I've come to learn that I'm not alone. Left without childcare in the middle of this pandemic, we've just been forced to improvise and expected to do the impossible, usually, while worrying about how long we can keep this up. In fact, instead of worrying about making it work, some parents have decided the best way to deal is to give up parenting for the time being altogether. At least, half-jokingly anyway.

This is working from home while parenting in the time of COVID-19 — a messy juggling act.

A Near Impossible Job: Full-time Parent and Full-time Employee

Working parents, unemployed parents, single parents, essential worker parents — all of these parents and situations have their own set of challenges. The circumstances of the pandemic have placed many parents at a crossroads to find alternative childcare in order to return to work or otherwise give up their employment and thus their financial security. More than 4 in 10 parents of children younger than 19 reported that they or someone in their family lost a job, work hours, or work-related income because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Urban Institute's Health Reform Monitoring Survey (HRMS).

Working From Home While Parenting in a Pandemic

I established my career in Silicon Valley as a remote professional, and have for the last decade believed strongly that location-independent work is the future of work. As I became a mother and made that first transition back to work from maternity leave (albeit a leave way too short, but that's a topic for another day), I realized this remote work arrangement was the only thing that enabled me to continue to work.

I could meet the demands of my job while caring for a newborn. I often worked outside of the usual 9-5 and while the days were long, I was just so grateful to have a work-life arrangement that allowed me to be near my child when I needed to be. Turns out, that's a familiar story to many parents. A flexible job is really important to parents of young children. In fact, 82% say that having school-age kids affects their interest in finding a flexible job.

While the lines between work and home life are blurring, be flexible, communicate effectively, and lead with empathy.

Many workplaces have turned to remote work during this pandemic but with childcare and school closures, working from home with kids doesn't look like the "flexible" work arrangement it had once been. Parents have been handed the near-impossible task of balancing the responsibilities of full-time caregiver, full-time educator, full-time employee, and first-time remote employee.

As a mom, I'm in this like everyone else — not knowing what tomorrow will look like and doing my best day by day. I wish there was an easy answer to the childcare predicament all working parents face. In the meantime, I have figured out a few things that have really worked for me in order to have a productive day, lead from a physical distance, and maintain some sense of order in my home from 9-5.

My 3 top tips for working from home while parenting in the time of COVID-19.

1. Maintain A (Flexible) Routine

One of the major changes that comes with working from home is that without an office environment routines can get thrown off. Be sure to create a routine for both you and your children. I would also opt for a time-blocked routine rather than a rigid to-the-minute schedule. For example, mornings are for your meetings and the kids' quiet busy work (be that school assignments or other activities). A routine gives everyone an expectation of how the day will go and this can help decrease stress. Furthermore, using a routine rather than a rigid schedule also sets you up to be more successful because it allows flexibility for you all to make changes when needed.

2. Create a Designated Workspace

Control the things you can and don't spin your wheels on the things you can't. While there are few things that can be controlled, your workspace is one of them. It doesn't have to be an office, but your workspace should be a space that is your own. This isn't a space anyone in the house can simply drop off their things or fiddle with yours. Ideally, this space will be organized and clutter-free so you're not losing time finding what you need to get to work, or being distracted with anything else. Studies have found that work environments have an effect on satisfaction and productivity. If you work in a place that inspires instead of distracts you, you are more likely to be efficient, productive, and happier.

3. Communicate

Over-communicate with both everyone in your house and the remote team you are collaborating with. In the house, be sure everyone knows your schedule especially if you're co-parenting and co-working with a partner in shifts. It could help to post your weekly schedule, so everyone knows when a big meeting is coming up and you're in the do-not-disturb zone. With your remote team, take advantage of platforms for video communication to help recreate face-to-face interaction. General rule of thumb, if you find yourself writing an email that's become a novel or you're responding to a thread that's gone too long, the clearer route to communicating is likely a video conference.

While the lines between work and home life are blurring, be flexible, communicate effectively, and lead with empathy. And most importantly of all, give yourself the space to make mistakes, try again, and learn what works best for you.

P.S. Are you finding yourself overwhelmed by the challenges of parenting through the pandemic and keeping up with the work-life juggle? In a time when moms need a support system more than ever, I've founded Hey Mom Co., a new kind of wellness and mindset development community for working moms. Visit our website to learn more: http://heymom.co