by Anne-Maria Yritys, Featured Contributor
MANY PEOPLE, in a number of cultures, have prejudices towards female leaders, very often subconsciously. This is due to a number of reasons, including the fact that women do not always even support one and another in business life, of course depending upon the organization. In many cultures stereotypes are more than strong, leaving a woman either having to adapt to the local culture and manners, or giving her the choice to become a catalyst for change, an emancipated woman driving changes both in her personal and professional lives.
Stereotypes and cultural manners are not easily changed, since everything starts from early childhood, where small girls are often dressed in pink color and expected to behave in a certain way. If you are a girl, or a woman, behaving differently from what has been expected from you, you are often regarded as being either a complicated personality, or simply difficult. Even by other women. Being different, and driving change, is not easy, but it is possible.
I come from a culture where women have equal rights with men, which is not self-evident in most cultures in the world. In Finland, a woman has the freedom to do anything she wants to, just like men. We had a female president, Tarja Halonen, from 2000-2012. Women have also been eligible to vote since 1906, as the 2nd country in the world after New Zealand. However, on a global basis, 80 % or more of all poor people worldwide are still women. Even in Scandinavia, and Finland, domestic violence and an abuse of women is still high, amongst other injustices that women worldwide, unfortunatey, have to deal with on a daily basis.
As a woman, and a man, what can you do to improve the global conditions of women?
Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country”
– Margaret Thatcher
Wishing you a blessed and successful year 2015!