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Voices@Athena - Abbi Lindenberg

"I strongly believe that gender should not have an influence on your career path or your income in your desired industry."

Abbi Lindenberg
Aftersales, Parts, Warranties, and Merchandise Manager
GU Auto Trade B.V.
Netherlands

Masters in Supply Chain and Logistics Management Batch 2021

Gender perception in the workplace

This topic has always intrigued me. I have always been interested in workplace inequality and the perception of certain genders in certain roles in the corporate industry. I strongly believe that being female or male should not have an influence on your career path or your income in your desired industry. This topic aroused my interest at a young age, but as I started my career in a male-dominated industry, it became more of a passion to understand why certain industries are perceived to favor one gender over the other.
 
I grew up in a family engaged in sports and in an industry that is male-dominated. I am one of the three girls in my family. My father has been involved in motor racing and the automotive industry for over 40 years, and being born with it in our blood, all three of us followed his footsteps and we all currently work in the automotive industry. I started racing bikes as a 4-year-old, and even at such a tender age, we faced many challenges when it came to a female competing in a field of only males.
 
I am extremely passionate about my work and the automotive industry. To most people, our careers sound glamorous but being a woman in an already highly competitive industry as it is, and then with it being dominated by the opposite gender; we face a lot of suppression and challenges on top of our day-to-day job. I believe many decisions are made by both men and women relating to their career paths, shaped by the concern of gender inequality in certain industries. Should this be the reason you don’t follow your passion? 
 
Often it is perceived that a man cannot be a stay-at-home parent, or that a lady cannot be an automotive engineer. This is a small example of a world reeking of gender-based inequality. Such a mindset needs to be extinguished for humanity to treat each other equally. We need to eliminate the traditional perception of gender and encourage careers based on knowledge, ability, and passion. 
 
This mindset goes back centuries when women were expected to be stay-at-home wives and mothers, but here we are, it’s 2022 and this whole perception of specific industries having a preferred gender should be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Gender inequality is something that still prevails in several industries, albeit males face this in several female-dominated industries. Gender does not determine your skills. Age does not determine your knowledge and experience. Therefore, industry standards and employment should not have gender preferences. 
 
We are currently seeing women growing in leadership roles across the globe. Take a look at the most recent woman to hit the headlines, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Founder and CEO of Bumble Inc. After making the company public at the beginning of 2021, she is the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. These are the role models that will change industry standards and promote gender equality in the workplace. 

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