What is the biggest mistake we are doing?

Why after the pandemic most of the women quit jobs and still did not get the courage to join back their careers?

Why is the that while some have tried joining it back are finding it really difficult and challenging to keep the pace?

Why is it that various studies reveal that men apply for a job even if they met 60% of job qualifications whereas women apply when she only Mets 100%

Why is it that we have so many girls getting higher marks in schools and colleges but very few privileged ones in the board rooms, pursuing entrepreneur stints?

Why there is gender diversity not existing in our board rooms?

The answer to this question lies in our childhood and upbringing. Because we are raising our girls to be perfect but we raise our boys to be brave. The common thread which I find most interesting in all these statements lies in the roots of how we provide the upbringing to our children.

How often you have heard our parents saying this to boys: Play rough, Swing high, Headfirst, Try harder.

We teach our boys to take risks when they fall. We don’t say to them oh.. your face will have a scar. We say be brave.

Why do women wait for someone else’s approval or recognition, not even in personal space but in our professional set up too?

When our boys are sitting in the park we tell them to play sports, try and climb the money ladders and push them to raise their risk-taking abilities.

While with our daughters we find it perfectly ok being involved in a few safe games, having a small discussion within the group, chatting in one corner of the park, or taking a stroll with a few friends.

If our boys fail, we tell them even in Silicon Valley even if you haven’t failed in a minimum of 2 projects you are not even qualified to be an entrepreneur.

 But if we as women fail, we don’t say it is ok to fail we presume this is our own mistake.

We don’t accept that failures are the natural stepping stones of our growth. Until and unless we fail in some of these aspects, we are not able to assimilate how to take calculated risks in our lives and hence won’t grow.

The greatest originals are those who failed earlier. Pick up any examples irrespective of the domain or ages in the entire lifecycle of the human race. Getting any new good idea requires thinking of so many bad ideas and then having the courage to reject all and identify the good ones.

When boys fail. Look at the verbiage they say it was the issue with the model, timing was not right, etc.

But when we as women fail, we say it was a problem with us. The problem is not with the intelligence levels of women.

The problem is the social conditioning that we receive since our childhood. We are groomed to be perfect. We are not wired for taking brave actions.

Let us teach our daughters, sisters, mothers, and female colleagues to be brave. Support them, motivate them, encourage them and reward them.

Then it will be more comfortable for them to accept even negative feedback, challenges given by life in a positive stride. Eventually, they will learn to be confident and take calculated risks. They will learn how to lean in on the shoulders of other such women leaders and grow in their respective journeys. Let us pledge to teach our girls to be brave rather than to be perfectionists.

To be a perfect homemaker, perfect mom, perfect home office balancing machine, perfect smile, perfect body. Let us say NO to this. Let’s teach them to accept their imperfection and be courageous, brave to grow.

Let us teach them it is ok to fail but you must try various things in life and at least learn to fail differently each time.

Teach them to be brave enough to hold the load of their dreams and fly with it.

Let them flourish and find their piece of sky. If we reward our girls for accepting failure as part of our lives. Starting anything new is messy in the beginning. Learn to keep trying. Learn to accept challenges to be an integral part of growth. Tell the women around you that They would be loved and accepted not for being perfect but for being courageous. It is ok to be imperfect and accept ourselves but we have to be courageous to take risks. Failure is an inseparable and integral part of growing up.  

Let’s pledge to take this small step while having interactions with women folks around. If we all do our bit this would be really a better place to live. Let  us reward bravery over perfection.

Cheers to a new beginning

Shalini Srivastava

Head- Learning & Development, Reliance Retail| Transformation Life Coach

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