Before we continue this campaign for equal opportunity we must ask ourselves, are women really ready? I’ve been privileged to work with, train and hire young women and I’m starting to wonder if we’ll be able to fill all the spaces that are opening up due to the fight for equality.
Because, it seems a lot of women don’t understand that equal opportunity doesn’t mean a free ride to the top. It’s not a “just take one seat on the board because you’re a woman” situation. If we accept this, then it means we’re admitting that we’re weak and incapable of working our way up.
What does equal opportunity mean?
Equal opportunity means that we will get the same chances that men get and we will grab those opportunities, make the best of them and shine. It means that when given the same shots as our male counterparts, we will work just as hard to deliver results.
However, the problem is that way too many women are still involved in base behaviour. They’re too busy being petty with each other to occupy the spaces at the top. They gang up against each other at work, they fight over men, they gossip and lie and just generally misbehave as if they’re in their father’s compound and not a place of business.
Stop blocking your sister!
The world is waiting for us to rise up and shine, yet so many women are too busy blocking their sisters to realize that standing in someone else’s way means you can’t move forward either. The workplace is not a place to get up in your feelings and get upset because somebody refused to greet you. If they don’t greet you, greet yourself.
I know a lot of women who have the hunger and drive to get equal opportunities and kill it, but I also know a lot of women who cannot handle the top because they’re too busy being basic. Too many women don’t realize that it takes ambition, discipline and hard work to thrive in the workplace.
Likes don’t count in the real world
Ibukun Awosika didn’t become the first female chairman of First Bank by forming a clique at work to gossip about her boss. Mo Abudu didn’t become a champion by lazing around and refusing to embrace change. If women are going to win in this world, we have to be strategic and disciplined, and we have to stay out of our feelings.
If you’re a truly ambitious woman in Nigeria, very few people will like you. This doesn’t mean you should be a jerk, but when you get results, you’ll get respect, and being respected trumps being liked. So it’s time to call your sisters and cousins and tell them to stop worrying about who likes them and who doesn’t. Likes might count on Instagram, but they don’t count in the real world.
We’re in a war y’all!
The fight for equality is just that, a fight. It’s not a game and it’s not child’s play. So it’s time for women to stop kidding around and take their battle positions. It’s time for us to stop fighting against each other and start fighting beside each other, because a house divided against itself can never stand. Selah.