Excuse Me, I Think That’s My Job

The very first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, Shirley Chisholm, once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This serves to empower women and to encourage us to work harder. 

But…

There is a big “but” hidden here. Women work hard to achieve what they want and to be independent. All we want is to earn what we deserve and to be appreciated for what we do. If this is the case, then why do we have to be prepared to enter a war zone instead of our jobs every day?

We Are All Warriors

I have worked mostly with women, but still, I must prove myself so often. I had to demonstrate that I have an adequate level of English as I am an English teacher. There was added pressure to show that I was sufficient at coordinating my department when I was pregnant, and after my maternity leave, I returned to learn that I had been replaced.

When I began my Ph.D., the department head told us  “I don’t know why women work at all, just for make-up money I guess and it is useless.” and “If you get pregnant during your studies, don’t come to me crying.” We were in shock because that year I had to work at the university for eleven hours three days a week to get two days off to be able to attend my Ph.D. classes. My salary was less than my male colleagues even though I was their coordinator. I had to struggle for respect and recognition just because I was a woman. 

I am not the first woman to find herself in this position. Trying to prove that I am competent, but I know that I am also not the first woman to prove that I am competent nor will I be the last.

Not Positive Discrimination but Diversity

It is important to state that I don’t want only women in the workplace. I want everyone to focus on diversity. Evaluating people according to their talents is important and so is promoting women at work. We need to see and believe the contributions that women can

bring to our workplaces. To bring success to our work environments would mean to have achieved full equality.

There Will Always Be Obstacles

During the pandemic lockdowns, women mostly lost or had to leave their jobs worldwide. Of course, the pandemic is not solely responsible for this, but data shows that dismissing people due to their genders is still a common issue. 

To have the most compatible people for jobs, companies need to include more women. We need more women in executive position jobs. Come on! You cannot possibly determine if I am good at my job based on my gender. Give women more opportunities for greater profitability and let’s see what happens!

We Are Not Alone!

I am lucky to have the Philia Team by my side, witnessing what other women can do helps me to maintain my strength in this war zone. As Philia shows respect to all genders, I always feel safe and strong. I wish we didn’t need this support, but we know the world will not change overnight. 

We have the opportunity to prove that we are right; we are good enough, and in some cases, we may even be better. No matter how hard it is, the more we try, the more we will convince everyone that working with women is as good as working with men. 

Women do not take decisions according to their menstrual cycles and having kids makes us greater, not weaker. Our vulnerability makes us stronger. Give us an opportunity!

İdil Yazıcı

İdil Yazıcı

İdil Gülnihal Yazıcı is a lecturer in the School of Foreign Languages at Istanbul University and a PhD candidate in European Union. She is a published author focusing on regional development, education, and self-improvement.

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