Cyndi McLeod had risen to a senior vice president in the corporate world. She opened the paper one morning and read she was the least paid among her male colleagues. Then she quit immediately.
“I didn’t go back and fight for myself. I just quit,” says McLeod.
Gender inequity and inequality have never left the workplace, and it is stifling progress for women.
Experts around the world are proposing ways to reorganise and help women progress in the work place.
With social distancing ongoing, they are taking to Zoom to get the word out.
“Let’s make things truly equal and beneficial to all. If you are talking about gender equality, everybody is included,” said Victoria Ajayi, chief financial officer at TVC.
“There has to be a greater level of transparency when it comes to pay and benefit.”
She also adds the need to train managers in the work place to understand rewards according to work done, and not discriminate on the basis of gender.
The work place is transforming beyond clichés—glass ceiling, glass cliff, tables—but they dramatically portray opportunities and strengths.
“Let’s create a table and invite others folks to the table,” says Sola Afolayan, found of SHE Foundation.
“Where the tables have been created, how can we put ourselves out there and not self sabotage?
“We should learn to question the status quo: why do I have to get married, have a child. Put yourself out there and be ready to be mentored by the opposite sex.”
These days McLeod is better off for the decision she took. She chairs the board of governors at University Canada West, a business-oriented university in Vancouver, Canada. She is chief executive officer at Global University System and founder of Global Women in Education.
She says policies have to be family friendly and education is important. It is not just classroom education but about the questions that perplex the workplace: bullying, harassment.
Women also need the opportunity to be successful and employers must find ways to help them and pay for skills.
Most importantly, women need confidence.
“You have to believe in yourself, and look after yourself,” says McLeod. “If you don’t believe in yourself and look after yourself, nobody is going to do it for you.”