Ask, Involve, Respect Instead of Assuming

Ask, Involve, Respect Instead of Assuming
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“As a leader, I know what my team wants. Vidya would love to be transferred to the other department. It has way less work pressure, and it will help her focus on her family. After All, she just got married, her husband would need her attention.”

– Rohan, her boss, and the Director of Sales, at a growth stage IT company said when he was discussing growth, promotion, and transfer plans for his team with the HR and the senior management. 

Very interestingly Vidya was neither there in the meeting nor informed about this decision which directly concerned her professional life. 

“Sunita is very good at documentation, let’s give documentation work to her.”

– Priya, the Marketing Head in an MSME, was distributing tasks to her team for the new project they grabbed recently.

Incidentally, Sunita was absent in the office that day, and no one thought of asking her where she wanted to contribute, even once!

She wasn’t aware of this task being thrust upon her, even though her strength was creativity more than documentation. 

It was that time of the year when everyone awaits their reward for their performance for the whole year. Yes, it was promotion time. Shobha was anxious but upbeat about her promotion. After all, she had put in loads of effort throughout the year, toiled like a maniac, and got the company some important deals. 

Alas! When the news arrived, her name was missing from the promotion list. Her boss assumed she didn’t deserve the promotion based on her present personal situation. Off late, her Dad has been keeping unwell, and she is spending more time with him. Hence her boss thought, Shobha must focus on caring for her father she wouldn’t be able to take up this additional work responsibility. 

No one discussed this with her before making this decision.  

In many organizations, this phenomenon is natural. The senior leaders make decisions on behalf of their women leaders regularly, that too, without proper consultation with them. Even if they consult, it’s more to coax them into accepting whatever was decided for them. 

What’s fascinating, the same approach is not followed in the case of other leaders.

Why do organizations dictate what their women leaders would do?

Who are they to solely decide which job role with suit them?

What makes them take the liberty to dictate what women should do when a significant life event happens to their life?

How are they still following the stereotypes around women’s role in marriage, childbirth, caregiving their elders, and so on? 

Shouldn’t these be left to the women to decide? Shouldn’t their existence be respected enough to consult them before announcing a diktat around their career? 

What do you think? 

Lesson From This:

In my opinion, women must be intricately involved in the decision making of their career and life. They must make their own choices, and they should do it void of any pressure. The organizations must create an open culture, where women too have the right to speak! 

STOP ASSUMING WHAT’S SUITABLE FOR YOUR WOMEN LEADERS; THEY ARE EMPOWERED ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR THEM.

The organization must make the environment conducive enough for them to act, without constraining their growth. The organizations need to stop making assumptions and deciding on behalf of their women leaders. 

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This is the sixth story in the 100 ways to empower women leaders series. You can read the other stories here.

Do join the Setback Leaders’ Worldwide Tribe should you wish to stay in close touch with other Setback Leaders from across the world.

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Author | Professional Speaker