Earlier today, I participated in a webinar celebrating International Women’s Day, and it made me reflect on my professional journey. I recalled an experience I had just before the covid-19 pandemic hit the country.
I wondered how a long weave-on mattered more for the job than the knowledge and skills that I brought to the table
I wanted extra income, so I applied for a weekend training job with a renowned training institute in Lagos state, and I got invited for the interview. It was one interview I absolutely enjoyed taking, and it went perfectly well until the end when the lead recruiter said to me “I like women with long hair. Why do you have your hair plainly woven, and without a wig? You aren’t taking us seriously? If you’ll be joining the team, you must get wigs” Oh yes! This happened. I wondered how a long weave-on mattered more for the job than the knowledge and skills that I brought to the table.
I have seen men get paid more than their female counterparts because of the belief that they cater to their households. I have also seen confident and expressive women tagged as aggressive, while the same is considered as assertive and appropriate in the male counterparts.
Whatever our sphere of influence – small or large, within our families or on a company’s board, we must stay committed to breaking these biases, cancelling cultures that attack and stifle the growth of women everywhere and in the corporate spaces, rooting out these erroneous constructs, and wrong socialization that continue to limit women.
Everyone has a role to play, and so everyone needs to be educated accordingly.
At some point in the webinar, the moderator called on her colleague, a man, to share some information with the audience, but apologized first for having to call him up. No! More than ever before, more men should be encouraged to participate in, and champion courses and initiatives that promote gender equality. To achieve gender equality in a world of men and women, we must involve men. Everyone has a role to play, and so everyone needs to be educated accordingly.