Even the smallest of actions can spark major changes. Each one of us can play our part in creating a gender-equal world where everyone has equal access to education, employment, healthcare and housing among other things. Together, we can build an equal future for every individual, irrespective of their race, gender, ethnicity, language or country.
IWD campaign #EachForEqual for this year highlights how our thoughts, actions, mindsets, and dialogues can create a positive impact on our society as “an equal world is an enabled world.”
Since the theme this year focuses on “individual collectivism”, we decided to get the ball rolling by initiating conversations within Mikaels Labs about creating a gender-equal world where everyone has an equal future.
Here’s how we are supporting the #EachforEqual movement:
You enter school knowing that you have to play a certain role. Boys have to play cricket and girls have to play throwball. Nobody asks who wants to play cricket or throwball. It is set in the rules and no one can challenge that.
When you start your journey as a human you feel happy, but then you are put in a box that is labeled with so many attributes. Male gender is supposed to be logical, emotionally strong and athletic. Females are supposed to be sensitive, emotionally weak and good at art. And that’s the beginning of killing the individuality of a human.
At Mikaels Labs, I was given the space and freedom to look for individuality. We were able to see beyond what they are trying to show us. We have “People” who are logical, emotionally strong/weak and sensitive. When we hire, we don’t look for a specific gender to fill that position, we look for a human who’s the best fit for that job. When we hire we don’t ask questions like are you married? Do you have plans on getting married? What will your parents say if you have to stay back late? When are you planning on starting your family? We ask questions about passion. What drives them? What makes them stand out?
Mikaels Labs is a family where everyone’s journey as a human is celebrated. You are given the freedom to be who you truly are without any labels or boxes. Here, you are a human, not a stereotype.– Rabiya Shahid
Five days ago, as a part of one of our campaigns, my team and I posted a picture of a developer holding up a sign saying “We need more women who code” in the hopes of building a gender-equal world by initiating a dialogue. The post went viral internationally and looking at how that message resonated with the people, I was reminded yet again how important marketing and communications are in broadening gender-based perceptions.
I, personally, am a huge advocate of a gender-equal world. The marketing strategies that I write and the stories that I tell are consciously human-centric translating the very idea of Mikaels Labs, where there is an equal representation of image, opinions, opportunities, and participation of both the genders.
– Amna Abdullah
A few years ago, I participated in a public speaking training workshop. Most of the training content was centered on how women should act like men on stage or in a meeting. That is they should not wear high heels as it will draw attention to the hips swaying. Avoid skirts, at least not the flowing ones, and speak in a low voice as possible. It was followed by suggestions to be assertive, but not cold or rude and definitely not be dramatic or show feelings. The worse part of it all was that the trainer was a woman. It is, therefore, important to understand that gender bias isn’t only perpetuated by men but also by women.
Creating a human-centric workplace and fighting that bias is not easy. But I believe that all of us as men and women can play our part in it.
At Mikaels Labs, every person has access to coaching to achieve their goals. There is no glass ceiling. In these sessions, we not only work on the goals but also the struggles that it takes to get where we want to go. We learn how to stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are, celebrating each other’s uniqueness and dreams.
The same applies to project management. It doesn’t matter if it is a man or woman who has the idea. We can and do help to achieve dreams and create new solutions that will make the world a better place.– Kristina Siil
As a global company, with one office located in Tallinn and the other in Karachi, we have people from diverse backgrounds be it in terms of race, language or culture. And despite these differences, we have always been able to collaborate successfully. We have been able to achieve this because of the belief that we are all humans at the end of the day. Whether you’re a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter.
For economies to thrive it is important to create more inclusive workplaces where everyone can be their authentic selves so that together we can unlock our true potential and create wonders.– Hammad Abbasi
As a business owner, there are challenges from both men and women in workplaces. Some of these are gender-specific challenges, but they are a product of the male-dominant culture in which we have raised our children. Given the opportunity, freedom, and most of all the trust to have their back, people (regardless of their gender), give their heart and soul to the Company to work towards its cause.
These stereotypes and gender biases are not something that can be changed by a single person or a single organization. It requires awareness and willingness from grassroot level up to the highest ranks of the ecosystem.
The owners of Mikaels, celebrate the minds and hearts of our people, irrespective of the body they are in.
– Owais Afaq