International Women’s day – Sonia Okoh
I was brought up in a society that believes that women should not be seen or heard. This is a culture that was echoed in the work environment and in public gatherings. Although we now have a lot of senior female leaders in the society however it is distressing to see that the biased approach remains perceptible and clear at present.
All through my career progression, I have ensured I strive for more and I have always made sure I worked twice as smart as a male candidate would do, knowing fully well that I need to prove to my fellow female colleagues that gender is not a barrier. Although there will be challenges on the way to the top, I never let them pull me down, instead, I keep striving harder.
I would like to share my personal experience from a previous organisation, where a male colleague in the same position as myself with the same years of experience was paid far more than I was paid. I almost got discouraged but I took it upon myself to work harder and make sure I bring more value to the table to show more capability instead of giving up.
I believe the responsibility to challenge gender stereotypes, discrimination, and bias falls on everyone. I am inspired daily by women in senior management positions, we need a society that will encourage and promote women leaders.
Together we can build a gender-equal society. Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.
Sonia Okoh – Individualised Care Programme Manager and Operational Lead