While many women are out there smashing the glass ceiling and making great strides in their careers, the expectations and pressures society places on women at times have the opposite effect, causing them to shy away from certain roles.
Psychologist Perventhri Pillay said this can start with early experiences that affect an individual’s self-confidence.
“Unsuspectingly, there may be issues with an individual’s self-esteem and this can begin during childhood and then rear its head when the opportunity arises for a person to take on a leadership role or roles of authority,” said Pillay.
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Pillay said another reason women shy away from taking up higher positions in society or in the working environment is due to their home responsibilities or how it may affect their lifestyle.
Women who are married and have a family to care for, may not take on certain roles because of the responsibility they have to care for their family. “Women also bear the burden of what society has to say about their decisions and this is another reason why women shy away from roles in the workplace or roles of leadership in society.
Another factor affecting women and their decision to take up certain roles in society is bullying in the workplace from colleagues or those in authority.
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Pillay encouraged employees to speak out about what they are experiencing and get assistance.
“Employees have a right to work in a peaceful environment. Companies must create a healthy environment to work in.
If you are being bullied at work [over taking up] a certain role or position, then find someone who you can speak to about it. Break the silence if you are being bullied at work.
“If you break the silence then more can be done to address such issues in the workplace and this will allow for improvement and a better environment for all,” said Pillay.