Business News President’s Focus

In light of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day being celebrated in March, Future Faces Chamber president Jaccy Datta discusses why women in leadership must leave the ladder down behind them for other aspiring leaders to climb up.

bias and inequality in the workplace. However, just as International Men’s Day (19


November) brings attention to men’s mental health, which is vitally important all year round, similarly issues around gender inequality and women’s rights are not just limited to one day. But what can we all do on a daily basis to

ensure progress continues for women in the workplace? While there are so many factors at play,

women tend to naturally hold themselves back, often without even realising it. We have a habit of apologising more, we

expect others to recognise our efforts and achievements (yet are reluctant to claim the deserved accolades when they’re noticed) and we often overvalue others' skills over our own, thereby underselling ourselves. Women can be incredible team players;

however, they can be perceived to be somewhat insecure in their roles as leaders.

‘It is so important for women to support each other and cultivate a fairer work environment for all’

This perception is often attributed to the fact

that women remain under-represented in leadership positions and feel that they have to work harder than their male counterparts to battle the cognitive biases against them and be heard. Furthermore, whilst a certain level of progress has been made to date, the scars still remain from the levels of inequality of the past. As Future Faces president, I am extremely

fortunate to have a diverse committee with a number of fabulous female future leaders, and I encourage everyone in the committee to have their voice heard and their achievements recognised, regardless of their gender and whether this comes naturally to them. I often ask myself if I’m acting as the leader

that the more junior version of myself would have aspired to be and, if not, what I can do to change that. It’s an important reflective practice for all leaders, but especially for us as women. The difficulties female leaders have faced

getting to where they are now (whether that’s juggling work and family commitments or facing pay inequality), should not mean that they expect future leaders to have to go through the same hardships. Quite often, women don’t realise the burden

of expectations they place on other women in this way until they really stop and consider this. It’s important, as leaders, that we are all aware of this issue so that future examples of this can

12 CHAMBERLINKApril 2021 Leaders must leave the ladder down: Jaccy Datta

be challenged. Now as much as ever, it is so important for women to support each other and cultivate a fairer work environment for all. My recommendation for everyone out there climbing the career ladder is to always make sure you leave the ladder down behind you for others to follow in your steps, whatever the person’s gender. Let us not allow the scars of the past to affect the continuing of progress towards an equal society. Finally, for all leaders, both present and future,

always ensure that you share your achievements without simply expecting them to be noticed. For those who are daunted by this, or have feelings of imposter syndrome, perhaps you could start with sharing with your close friends and immediate colleagues and gain more confidence in yourself gradually. You are all worthy, your achievements are all

great, and I look forward to seeing so many incredible future leaders making a difference across the region in the years to come.

n March we celebrated International Women’s Day, when women’s achievements were marked and awareness is raised against

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