Despite all odds, working women must break out of their shell and overcome personal, social and institutional barriers that hinder their participation in workplace, said speakers at an interactive discussion in Dhaka on Friday.
Titled "Women in the workplace: Breaking barriers and moving forward," the discussion was organized by Career Solution Bangladesh, a leading company in the human resources industry.
The discussion was attended by representatives from different corporate organizations, human resources consultants, and students from different public and private universities who discussed the issues that still create obstacles in women's progress in professional fields and how they can be overcome.
“Women should pinpoint the problems in order to resolve them; they should also step out of their comfort zones to reach their desired goals,” said Musrara Oishi, assistant manager of Brac Social Innovation Lab.
Gulsetyne Ahmed, English news presenter at BTV and first officer at the Regent Airways, said the only way for women to overcome the barriers in workplace is nothing but to be the best version of themselves.
Khadija Rehman, head of communications at SAJIDA Foundation, emphasized unlearning the social stigma that holds women back.
Women must bring the change they need, and they can start by uprooting the preconceived beliefs that hold them back and convince them that they are inferior, added Afreen Zaman Khan, lecturer at Independent University, Bangladesh.
“We must promote the idea of equal opportunity and work to increase its acceptance in society,” said Samiha Chowdhury, assistant manager of Standard Chartered Bank.
The issues include fair recruitment and flexible working hours for new mothers.
Faria Ahmed, founder and director of Career Solutions Bangladesh, said: “For larger organizations, we need government-imposed guidelines on in-house daycare facilities and flexible hours, just as we have done for maternity leave.”