Being a Woman
by Giselle Sevgi
My story begins in a very liberal family in a conservative country.
I was the first child in my family.
My dad’s biggest fear was to lose me.
As a young girl, I learned what I shouldn’t wear, what time I shouldn’t be outside
Focusing on a career was my only choice when I was growing up.
This helped my dad to stay calm and make sure that I am all about my school and top grades.
The more I work, the more my dad pushed me to aim higher.
As a woman, the main point that I remember for any “success” that I had was totally the result of mentors both at school and at my professional swim club.
Then my brother was born.
I watched my mom while she was raising him.
Equality was the main point in our family. My dad always reminded us that I can do whatever my brother can.
When I look back now, I can see that it was my mom’s and dad’s role to show my brother how to treat to his sister so he can treat his wife and woman colleagues in the same high standards in the future.
Respect and equality standards starts at home
Although my dad did his best to keep me in a “safe bubble” and keep me away from any trouble.
As a woman, we can gradually start changing the full mindset towards women, how to treat them, show them respect and give them equal rights to grow in their careers.
I spent a significant amount of time in Turkey.
Unfortunately, women are still trying to raise their voices to gain equal rights and treatment at work and social life.
While I was celebrating the International Women’s Day in US, Turkish women were marching in Istanbul and stating that “they have full right for choosing an abortion”, they can wear whatever they want and that doesn’t mean they are ‘asking’ for rape.
In the meantime, in US, there was a major rape trial about two Yale Students and the female student was asked why she was wearing that ‘interesting’ costume and how much she drank…
And of course, the Weinstein case and the following #MeToo movement…
It is not only in Turkey or US that there are many issues towards women.
A lot of people are trying to change the perception towards feminine progress at work and school,.
Every single movement starts with women as well.
Moms raise the future generations
As women, we have the biggest role to make changes in our future.
I am fully aware that I’m living in a bubble where respect to women is at high levels.
While my direct manager is a male, the high up top executives are women.
They are significant ‘role models’ for their women colleagues and great examples of progress in our society.
From our VPs to our CEO, everyone has a tremendous respect for their female colleagues.
We are never scared to express our feelings in meetings and our opinion is always appreciated.
I know that, this is not the case in many organizations and what is ordinary and natural for us is considered extreme “privileges”. That’s why, we still have a long way to go.
We can start with;
-> Giving more chance to women,
-> Empowering them in their career choices,
-> Giving more freedom for maternity leave and
-> Keep pushing to develop our future.
Everyone has a role in the growth process.
The question is relevant to every business professional.
What are your plans for your organization to #pressforprogress ?
About the author:
Giselle Sevgi is a Social Media Marketing Executive in LinkedIn and a guest writer at IAW. She holds her MBA degree in Marketing and is an instructor at Stanford University Continuing Studies, for “Social Media for Business” and “Personal Branding” courses. Currently, she is helping hundreds of companies and individuals with their branding strategies and marketing campaign executions at LinkedIn USA market.
For more career-related and motivational articles, feel free to visit Giselle Sevgi’s career guide website.