The Need For Inclusivity Of Women In The Workplace
“If you want something said, ask a man; If you want something done, ask a woman.” – Margaret Thatcher.
The role of women in the advancement and development of a nation is crucial. As the more efficient planner of the two traditional sexes, the level of success achieved by women at micro-levels shows the capacity of women to take on roles and perform better.
Despite the traditional and cultural limitations of women in the past centuries, women have shown the ability to be better articulated. True to this claim, a study of about 1.6 million tertiary students, revealed that worldwide, girls get higher grades than boys in pre-tertiary educational levels, including math, science and engineering subjects. Yet, she is limited by society and its deep-rooted patriarchy.
In Nigeria, for instance, attempts to question the rigid gender norms in the country have been challenged severally. In fact, some cultures teach girls they are second-class citizens. From as young as 4-years-old, girls are taught that until they can recognise that this is their natural disposition in society, they cannot be accepted. As such, they become vulnerable and are exposed to criticism causing them to work twice as much as a man to gain recognition and keep it. Even in western society, this line of thought flourishes. A researcher Rose O’Dea et al. in her work,
“Gender differences in individual variation in academic grades do not fit expected patterns for STEM,” notes that women stay clear of STEM subjects because, “Women in male-dominated pursuits, including STEM, face a paradox: If they conform to gender stereotypes, they might be perceived as less competent, but if they defy gender stereotypes and perform ‘like a man,’ then their progress can be halted by ‘backlash’ from both men and women.”
Even more worrisome is that the World Bank Group’s study of 141 countries finds that the wealth gap between men and women is put at about $160 trillion (N57,840,000,000,000,000).
What is more? In Nigeria, women take up less than 25% of the female labour force, the National Bureau of Statistics reports. Yet, research has shown that women’s contribution positively affects a firm’s financial resources.
Despite this, several successes show that a woman is better capable of management and policy making. Rwanda in East Africa where women are taking up leadership positions exemplifies this.
But understanding this evolving idea is one thing, enforcing it, is another. While it is commendable that there is a radical change in the thinking pattern for both sexes, there needs to be in place, equal access and equal pay which will allow women the right to exercise independent thought, become involved in decision-making and have equal access to positions of authority.
More so, the government should make sure the inclusion of women in the workplace and government position of authority if there must be fast-paced development.