In this episode of #LeadershipTalks, host Sukirti Gupta speaks to IPS officer Renuka Mishra about leadership and equality. Renuka speaks about creating an inclusive and gender-sensitive workplace. In this episode, she addresses the gap in equal opportunities and leadership roles available to women.
The claim that a woman is not equal to a man stems out of a feeling of physical and intellectual superiority of men. So due to this belief, organizations often define roles that they feel are suitable for women. They associate leadership with masculinity and prefer men for such roles.
Above all, Renuka Mishra thinks of herself as an IPS officer, and not a lady IPS officer. She reminds us that our roles are not gender-specific. Furthermore, gender bias can be observed by taking a look at the decision making involved in accepting or rejecting women in combat roles. Questions like
‘Will they be able to perform in a male-dominated profession? Are they even required?”
Renuka Mishra talks about challenges women officers face while on duty which includes:
- They face difficulties in sizes of protective gear as “nothing fits”. Bulletproof vests, caps, shoes, tracksuits and dungarees do not fit as these are all designed for men.
- The customs at law enforcement offices are tailored to the needs of male workers.
- Bathrooms and other facilities are also not available for female workers.
Therefore, this needs to change. In conclusion, Renuka Mishra advocates for that change with her unapologetic and fearless leadership style.
Takeaways From Renuka Mishra
- Do not associate leadership with masculinity. Be it workplace or your home. Roles are not gender-specific.
- There is an urgent need to shift the onus of gendered violence onto men. They are the perpetrators. Therefore, we cannot label gender violence as “women’s issues”.
- Popular perceptions are based on stereotypes. So we have to work actively to reject gender roles and stereotypes.