Sitting in a mud home, sweat trickling down my back, I asked again: why was she refusing birth control even after three kids and limited household finances? “He knows best,” she replied, signaling towards her husband. Ah, the same “he knows best” story again. It had showed up in every conversation, but I had expected that - I was, after all, interviewing women living in an underprivileged North Indian village. There was nothing new here.
But then, I had a chill run through me. The “he knows best” had also been my story for years: from male parental figures in childhood to partners & bosses in my adult life. As this nervous, uneducated, repressed woman told me her realities, I could feel them inside of me. I could not believe it. How is it possible that I — a woman with education, privilege & opportunity — felt a lack of confidence and decision making power?!
But then I look around, and I see it in stats, articles, and in reality: there are such few women at important decision making tables. Women who have everything going for them - including confidence, a brilliant track record, capability - are not in professional leadership positions they clearly belong in and deserve. Why is that? And what can professional organizations to do change it?
If you are a woman who has experienced the effects of gender & sex inequality as a hindrance in your professional & leadership path, please sign up to tell me your story. Your stories will help me (1) bring voice to how professional organizations can uplift female leaders; and (2) design solutions that organizations can implement to be more gender-equitable, especially in their leadership structures.
Project Femlead is led by Mansi Gupta of Unconform Studio. Mansi has years of design strategy experience in female social impact. Having felt gender inequality in many ways in her own life, Mansi created Unconform Studio to design for women & gender-equity at the systems level.