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Are we invisible women?

Kirjoittanut: Thais Santos Araujo - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Blogiessee / 1 esseepistettä.

Invisible Women
Caroline Criado-Perez
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 3 minuuttia.

During a busy week, we had the alumni week of Proakatemia and the Nordic Business Forum; I participated in a paja held by Timo Nevalainen about Psychological safety. The paja was excellent, and I had a strong feeling of self-awareness and excitement to apply the learnings in my team. Towards the end of the paja, one of the women in the room pointed out that even if we had one-third of the participants as women, the conversation was predominantly discussed by men. The mention was made respectfully and thoughtfully. Most of the male figures in the room addressed the issue as if it wouldn’t be a big deal and only a coincidence.

How much can we affirm that women not speaking as much as men in a room is just a coincidence? The paja continued after some funny comment on the addressed issue (I truly do not record what the comment was), and we moved forward, bridging to the Motorola feedback session. During the Motorola, another woman figure pointed out how it is easy to make a joke about women being invisible and move forward as if nothing would have happened. At this point, I genuinely felt the size of the issue. Even being a woman, I didn’t see any problem in the first pointed-out moment and probably laughed at the poor joke with the others and moved forward with the paja content. In our society, the disgraceful status quo about women is so normalized that even being a woman, it sometimes is hard to have empathy for other women.

So, are we invisible women? I tried to share with the rest of the paja participants some knowledge I learned from the book Invisible Women. It is probably impossible for boys to understand and far away to feel that we actually struggle as the female gender. By default, they don’t know we don’t have the same accessibility to data that allows us to have access to basic needs as doctor diagnoses.

Of course, it is not a group of male students’ fault for all the struggles the women face. Although, I believe once you have access to this kind of information like these men had, it is your responsibility to act and stand up for equality. Guaranteeing a group’s rights doesn’t imply removing your rights. Maybe your privileges will suffer some change, that’s for sure. But is it worth your female significant part suffering the struggles? A wife, daughter, friend, or business partner? I think men don’t think that sometimes they are invited to a business partnership just because a woman can be self-conscious the clients might not take them seriously. The problem is that big.

Finland is a step forward in equality, and I thought I didn’t need to discuss it further in the Proakatemia environment, but it happened again. In another paja, the episode of that happened in the psychological safety was brought up and the male figures tried to oppress the discussion with a joke as the women would have distorted the situation and changed the paja’s subject. The irony of the whole situation is that the discussions were about psychological safety.

Well, this is a blog post only to rant about the issue. If you were in the fearless organization paja and are a male figure, did you put any effort to read Invisible Women book as suggested? Do you still believe the women overreacted and went out of the subject? I would be happy to have a respectful discussion on the topic. Feel free to contact me and share your learning and experiences.

Kind regards to Timo Nevalainen who was the only male figure in the paja to speak up the issue right away with lots of empathy.

Please guys, read Invisible Women. Show you care and are not afraid to share your privileges.