Agenda 2030 has put together an equality index from 2019 by looking at 51 indicators for 14 of the 17 official Global category goals for sustainable development. 129 countries in the world were compared on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the value, the more gender equality in the country. Denmark holds the highest ranking and Tchad the lowest. Sweden came in third place. So with that great numbers, will every woman in Sweden be content, happy and feel secure in any industry?
After 30+ years in the IT-industry, I would say no. In this blog I will generalize a bit, but you will get the picture. In 2017 #meetoo hit the world like a bomb. Everyone was shocked over the behaviour of quite a few men. I know that I discussed it with a friend of mine, who like me started in the industry around the late 90s. We put some thought into “have we ever felt used”? Or, “have we ever been treated without respect”?
The short answer is that of course we’ve been used and treated disrespectfully over the years, and faced tricky situations when you really don’t know how to react or respond to comments or behaviour. We have the advantage of being pretty strong in our beliefs and faith in our own capacity. Also, we’ve seldom been afraid of saying NO. I think this was , and is, a very important movement. But what do you do when society and your own thoughts still put extra pressure on you, just because you’re a woman? It’s not an actual person, it’s years and generations putting a norm for how we should behave, act and express ourselves. And why do we take upon ourselves to do and accept things that’s not ok, because we think that we have to? I see this all the time, in my daughters, young women at work, or any women for that matter. We sometimes take the world upon our shoulders, thinking that everything is our responsibility even if it means that we have to compromise with our feelings or beliefs.
Every time we succeed. We are grateful. Grateful for being lucky, for other people that let us step in, for someone that believed in us. But we are rarely grateful for our own knowledge, capacity or strength. What I also see is that a woman’s success is never about luck, or that someone else is “giving” her the space, it is always hard work, frustration and capacity beyond what can be expected from any person.
That’s why I started #TIQQE-lionesses. It’s an internal group where all women that are employed by us are members. The goal with the group is for us to build trust among us and grow with the motto that “weakness is a good thing”. The more personal we dare to be, the more we will actually get to know each other. The more we will trust, understand and support each other. I held the first session a couple of months ago and we set the structure for how to do this together. We’re meeting once a month, doing things together that we’ve on our to-do list.
For now it’s an internal thing, but we also think that there might be a time when we invite other women outside TIQQE when we feel ready for it. And I can tell you already, this is a kick-ass group. Brave, smart, fearless and really really fun to hang out with. So if you ever get the chance to join, don’t hesitate to do it. The worst thing that can happen is that you get more friends.