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  • Writer's pictureVivien Koh

#ChooseToChallenge this International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, we wanted to spark a conversation along the theme

#ChooseToChallenge. As a woman leader and entrepreneur, I have come across many young, strong woman professionals who have inspired me. Unfortunately, society still has strides to take to reach a satisfactory state of gender equality and equity. The global pandemic brought out these disparities in the corporate world. More women lost jobs and working mothers got burned out, while also receiving lower chances of being promoted as compared to men.

Our poll showed that high rates of burnout for working mothers were the biggest concern for most. A Women in the Workplace 2020 Report showed that 29% of working mothers are afraid to share their discomfort in their work-life challenges due to fear of judgement of being a caregiver. This makes it important for leaders to create a safe, judgement-free space for women and men to share their struggles and experiences. This also involves companies creating a work culture and environment whereby employees can fulfil their family commitments in the workplace and maintain a good balance in the office & home front.

Another important issue chosen in the poll was women having 3x lower promotion rates than men, especially during the pandemic. While leaders need to adopt a more neutral stance when making such decisions, there are some tips from my experience to up your chance of being promoted as a woman:

🔹 Focus on projects that add value to the organization. Don’t take up too many time-consuming tasks with little value. Look for projects which are aligned with your superpowers and talent to stand out from the crowd.

🔹 Be courageous. In many cases, men can be more assertive in asking for promotions while women shy away from doing so. It is important to understand that visibility is key to advancement and performance does not always speak for itself. Clarify your objectives and achievements to your supervisor and you’ll be surprised with the results!

🔹 Be Experimental. Take calculated risk and experiment with new out-of-the-box ideas. Don’t be afraid to fail and learn from them. Your passion will show more in your work and you might end up creating new value for your firm!

So, what does international women’s day mean to you? Does it mean celebrating the achievements of women around you, speaking up for discrimination that you experience/ witness or challenging biases and stereotypes in society? My team believes in striving to create a welcoming space for everyone to grow and nurture ourselves together. Celebrate this International Women’s Day with VK Transformation as we #ChooseToChallenge!

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