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MENA Edition: 5 Ways To Empower Women in Your Workplace

This isn’t another listicle or article you come across; this is our team’s collective experience. Here are little things we do on a daily basis to support each other in our daily lives. From the AboutHer team to you!

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1. Encourage self-expression, especially in large meetings.

During any meeting, practice empathy and look around – especially if you’re in a leadership position. Do you feel another woman is holding back? Or does she say something and appears to be hesitating? Always validate and corroborate when it’s self-expression.

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2. Always look out for unconscious biases.

Always check assumptions and unconscious biases you or your co-workers may have. An example of that would be sending out an internal workplace newsletter and congratulating the “women on the team”, rather than just the individuals on the project, that happen to be women. That is when it becomes “feminism-washing.” Changing the rhetoric is important, so that it doesn’t create unbeneficial allyship.

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3. Starting pitching ideas, and start taking notes of progress.

Go to your HR and ask about initiatives in place for gender equality, ask how you can help, and ask how you can monitor those initiatives as well. In this way, you not only hold yourself accountable but also hold your company accountable as well. There are countries in Europe who are starting to implement Menstrual Leaves, let alone extend and enhance Maternity Leaves. These are the conversations you should be having.

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4. Validate decisions, with no need for prolonged reasons.

When you hear a co-worker go into a series of explanations for certain action or decision she has made, remind her that she has the experience and autonomy to make the choices she deems are in the company’s best interests. In this specific example we are talking about women who are qualified and very capable of performing their roles, but still have imposter syndrome.

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5. Collectivize and pass the torch.

Everything you’ve read so far needs to be collectivized so that it creates a ripple effect. Mentor the people in your team and not just the women, to know how to support each other, what can be done, and how to do it.

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