My line of work is predominantly male, especially in the structures where decisions are made. You rarely find women as part if those teams and committees. If there are any, there is one surrounded by men. For example, in a committee of seven people, only one would be female and in extremely rare circumstance two would be female. This then raises the concern among women and some men of getting women to be more visible and heard.
I agree that women should be heard and be more visible across the board. However, it seems the endeavor to have women heard and be more visible is sometimes not well thought through. We can not simply fill the gaps with women for the sake of equalizing numbers. There is a great need to fill the gaps with women that are willing and are well equipped for any position where there is a need in our vocations.
The task becomes to let women who are willing have the space to be seen and the opportunity to develop themselves into quality leaders who can actually lead and diligently execute the tasks of positions available to them to take up. So many a times women fight to be seen and heard yet most of us do not strive to be well equipped and shape ourselves into the quality material needed in order for us to be seen and heard. We need to read more, learn more and fight even harder to become the best. One of the biggest things we as women need to learn is to outgrow the tendency of being gatekeepers of each others success. Sometimes, the men are open to having us as equals and learning from us but we are unwilling to let each other become their equals. It is not only men that sabotage our struggle to be seen and heard but we also sabotage each other. We need to encourage each other, created spaces for us to learn and develop further so we become quality tools in our respective vocations.
We need to educate ourselves and our male counterparts on the importance of working together as equals. The more equipped the women willing to step up are, the better and easier it becomes for women to take up their seat at the table. Quality far outweighs quantity.