So, let’s say you finished school. Maybe you’ve had the opportunity to study at a private school or you’ve studied at a public school, maybe you’ve had an opportunity to get an apprenticeship, go to college, university or maybe you just had to go out and work straight away because your family could not afford further education for you.
Being young your options are limited. Everyone wants you to have experience at first whether you’ve studied a degree or finished high school. Some companies use this opportunity to pay you less even if you did have experience in part-time jobs. Even though you are the keenest and the most hardworking one it will never be enough experience in their eyes whereas in some jobs it’s understandable why you need to have the necessary experience.
Even though the challenge of not having enough experience is there, you’ve got your whole life in front of you. The company is not concerned about you having any health issues anytime soon, asking for maternity leave, pension, and all the benefits it states in the contract, yet you’re seen as a potential long-term asset.
Look at the women in your office who are doing part-time hours or have less important roles. Why is the company investing in you, empowering you, and not them?
Even though over the recent years the number of educated women has risen there’s still a large number of women who got the most basic education. This gap has created difficulty amongst women just as it has done with men.
A woman is usually the one who has to make the sacrifices in a marriage or a partnership. It’s much harder to find a job once she has kids. If your support circle is nowhere near you and there is only one income you would have to make the sacrifice to look after the kids while your husband goes to work. Times are changing now but they’re changing very slowly. As the kids get older their demands change i.e. the first few years, they’re at home and if you’re lucky your parents might be able to help you so that you can go and work, then your child goes to nursery or preschool, then school and then high school.
The first few years you try to find a part-time job or maybe you’re in the position where you just can’t find a job at all. There is so much to take into account. Before you could spend the time in traffic to go to your full-time job but now it’s not possible and you have to leave that job altogether. You wait it out and then try to get a job in the times that is compatible with nursery or school. Whether you’ve studied to be nurse, lawyer, accountant it’s really disheartening knowing that you can’t go back into it just yet.
Then, the years pass and like The Dark Knight you decide to return to work. You were tired of sitting in the background because you were not valued as a part-timer in your job and they didn’t invest in you having any future with them. You finally get your foot in the door and realise you’ve got a lot to learn. Times have changed, things have changed along with trying to get back into the swing of things. While trying to get back into the swing of things other women are making it hard for you to get anywhere.
Companies are ignoring this problem
Companies are not providing education for women around mindset on how to treat their employees especially women. The code of conduct seems to be forgotten. Women that have been in their jobs for years or those who have quickly risen to the top seem to feel entitled and along with that self-entitlement they have destroyed so many women’s confidence and self-belief.
This is so off-putting to women who perhaps got out of working as a cashier in a supermarket, or a place where the environment is justifiable for what they can handle. They’ve already struggled to get out of something that bullying, anxiety and pressure make them quit completely before they can get a chance to achieve something better
Over these last few years, I have even struggled even though I had really good skills. Women have made it about themselves and not about the overall goal a company is trying to achieve let alone for other women who are trying to put themselves in a better position in life so that they can get a second chance at life especially if they’ve been through a divorce, separation, domestic violence etc.
Mindset really needs to be put into place in companies to educate women or even men the importance of respecting people and their roles. People need to be taught that people are human and not things, that they have come from a challenging past and that they really don’t need more people in the workplace making it harder for them. Behaviour’s like spite, setting up your colleague for failure are just two of many things some women do to other women at work.
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T. Dench Patel