A lady came to me the other day and asked why women are normally slow to grab opportunities. I took a moment to think about that and wondered why someone would say so yet every day we come across many women working as hard or even harder than men. She told me that it had been weeks since she put up a job advert for a fashion writer and it clearly stated that females were preferred for the post. Sadly, more men than women applied for the position. She brought up the issue on a social media group and interestingly none of the members were surprised with that outcome. One of them suggested that few women apply for certain positions because they fear rejection.
It also emerged that women do not know how to negotiate deals or negotiate payments for a service. Most of the time, when women walk in for a job interview, the likelihood of them accepting less than they walked in believing they deserved is high. Men on the other hand often come out with what they think they deserve or more. This begs the question, why? Why do women sell themselves short? Why are we always willing to accept what is offered without asking questions? Why do we present ourselves as comfortable when we are not? Why do we give up the fight too soon? Why do we make it easy for us to be manipulated?
I get the impression that most of us get less because even the people that interact with us know we are not strong enough to challenge them and when we do it is described as unladylike. If women are to truly have a seat at the table they will have to learn to reason like men. We are naturally sympathetic and that means we will easily say ‘oh that person has said the business is struggling, let me just take what they have to offer’ and hope the economy improves. A guy is likely to turn down the offer and look for a business that is in a position to pay him what he feels he deserves. I am not saying all women display these characteristics, but many do. I commend the ones that stand up and get what is rightfully theirs.
At my radio station we are on a drive to get musicians to send us their music and not even one female musician has brought hers, yet we have many out there. Coincidentally, when a man records a song, he uses female vixens to help make the song go viral. Therefore, if women are the ‘real deal’ why can’t we take advantage of that ourselves?
Most successful women can confirm that they would never have made it had they been fearful. During these 16 days of activism against gender-based violence I would encourage another form of activism that will help eradicate fear among women and cause us to speak up and demand what is rightfully ours. Let us confidently step out into the world and make the most of the opportunities that come our way.
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