Recently, the world celebrated International Women’s Day and you’ve most likely witnessed a ton of articles and posts listing all the praises or the discrimination against us. Well, while some of this is most definitely true and calls for immediate action, the concept of having particularly ‘Women’s Day’ still bothers me.

Now why exactly must we have a day magnified on us? Does designating a day to us indicate that the other 364 days are men days? That’s a very long way from equality. When it comes to the work front, I notice that organisations and the community continuously bridging the gender inequality gap. When our techie’s are called out to conferences, there’s a distinct special spotlight given to a women techie. Should this necessarily be a compliment? I doubt that. A better way to address this issue is to look at talent as is without bringing the role of gender into it. Because honestly, it does not have much of a role. Yes, to a certain extent we are accustomed to playing our respective gender role as society has sculpted us to being. But, rationally looking through this, it really makes no difference.

Well, let’s look through some reasons that apparently stand tall. Women are weak and unfairly treated.Then, how is it that in most countries across the globe, except a hand few, women live longer than men? Either women are built stronger and don’t use it to their full potential or are accustomed to living a weak life. For a more warmer example look around your workplace. Especially in a country like India, Women are a larger part of being the emotional, psychological backbone strength of the family. And this is what facilitates them in displaying characteristics such as leadership, empathy and communication at work. Do you honestly believe this would be possible if we were the weaker sex?

A nagging challenge in tech firms especially is that there aren’t enough women engineers. In parallel thought did you know that female engineers are the brains behind a number of Facebook’s features, such as the news feed and the photo viewer? If you didn’t, well I’m not surprised. Sally Ride, Physicist and Astronaut never intended to be a hero. In fact, she was a shy girl who never raised her hand in class, loved to play tennis and read Scientific American religiously. When she responded to a NASA ad calling for applicants, the fine print didn’t include shouldering the weight of feminism in science. Sally always saw herself as an equal. But that’s the thing about true heroes: They never set out to change the world — they’re just themselves.

When you think about it, this differentiating trend did not start yesterday. Look back at your own childhood or how you are raising your children.  What kind of blocks is your daughter building when compared to your son? In early years, when children haven’t even imbibed qualities of choice and colour, what are you choosing for them? Going back to being neutral with appreciation , are you adding brownie points to a compliment because a girl lifted a heavy object?  In addition, there exists an unconscious bias that science and math are typically ‘male’ fields while humanities and arts are primarily ‘female’ fields, and these stereotypes further inhibit girls’ likelihood of cultivating an interest in math and science.

women engineers

At Kuliza, this is something I am extremely happy about. When women are appreciated here, it’s mostly more their talent and perseverance and not because they are women. In fact, with several women leading projects and leadership roles, there seems to be absolutely no problem at all. The ratio of women has significantly increased and we don’t necessarily have a gender equality program at the moment because we don’t see the need to.

While this might be the case in my company, by the magnitude of the spot light given to women, I’m pretty sure the scenario is quite otherwise. Instead of propagating gender stereotypes this Women’s Day, we should embrace a more fluid gender view and celebrate the delightful diversity of gender styles and preferences.