by Tatenda Rungisa, Human Resources Practitioner and co-founder of Twin Connect Solutions
Before I gained experience in my profession from the various sectors I had worked in, I frequently wondered why they were only a few successful women leaders and entrepreneurs. After working in different sectors I realized a few but huge hurdles have led to the demise of women leadership skills in the workplace. Women face challenges daily in their lives and for career women, the main one is that of penetrating into a male dominated sector or taking up roles that are societally termed “for men”.
African Society many times expects a woman to be domesticated rather than be a goal setter and getter. One may probe on why many more African women do not move up the business ladder.
1. Societal norms and pressure
The society we live in has its expectations, usually African Society expects that by a certain age a female child should be married, followed by the bearing of children. Even if one wanted to spring up and be successful in terms of a career, it then becomes hard as they have many breaks in their careers to fulfill societal expectations. At the end of it all, many young females have set marriage goals only and leaving out career goals.
2. The Mind-set
Most people have been dragged down by the “I can’t do it” or “I am not good enough” mind set. Most women will wait decades to be approved by certain people or societies, they seek approval in whatever they do, this follows them even in the workplace where they would rather be led than to lead as they somehow have the ‘I can’t do it’ or ‘I am not good enough’ mind set.
3. Mixing Personal and Professional relationships
There should be a thick line between personal life and a professional life. From experience, it has proven that most relationships especially that of subordinate and “boss”, are one sided, where it is usually the subordinate employee who does not gain much career growth especially if the relationship ceases.
So, what can women do to break through the glass ceiling?
Below are the key lessons that I have drawn from my interaction with successful career, as well as entrepreneurial women, here in Zimbabwe,
Most women cannot make lemonade when lemons are thrown at them in their life! It is wise to always know that as one grows in terms of profession or business the road is likely to be bumpy. Managing one’s emotions and focusing is prudent, acknowledging weaknesses and learning from failure will help in moving forward. The biggest harm a woman can do to herself is that of living a life full of regrets.
2. Live your passion
The word ‘choice’ is used in our everyday life, but has a huge meaning and impact in our lives. The minute we open our eyes in the morning we have to make choices, whether to sleep all day or wake up and face the new day. We are who we are by our choices, therefore, it should be a choice to live one’s passion, not to live a life expected by someone else.
3. Human Capital
Every women should be empowered - find your passion and with acquired skills and education and you will be the superwoman you desire to be!.
Goals are relevant in personal and career growth. Without goals it is like being a toothless dog, barking but totally harmless, attracting nothing but jeers and mockery. Meaningless goals? As I walked around in the countryside one time, I noticed what I deemed as an attention-grabbing situation where a brown pit-bull dog continuously paced back and forth chasing after speeding cars in a bid to overtake them, only to fail and return to its owners gate. This situation repeated itself until I moved past, but the dog had not overtaken any car. Relevance of the story - there should be focus once goals have been set.
Tatenda Rungisa is a 25 year old based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She holds a Bsc Honours in Human Resources Management, Certificate in workplace collaboration and development, certificate in management strategies for people and resources and certificate of completion in the growth mind-set speakers training. She is a Human Resources Practitioner by profession, motivational speaker, blogger and columnist in a local newspaper. She also co-founded Twin-Connect Solutions which is a youth driven organization led by young females based in Zimbabwe and South-Africa. She is passionate about writing, women empowerment and community work.
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