Hustle Culture Is Toxic But More Women In Leadership Positions Can Help

Hustle culture in today’s time is huge, hai na? The world is asking us to hustle and everyone around us is doing the same. Over the past few years, we’ve heard successful people talk about how they hustled and TBH our parents did too. We’re time and again told to do more than just hard work to get ahead in our careers. We hear CEOs talking about working 16 to 18 hours a day and taking work to vacation with them and talk about dedication and whatnot. But not too many female CEOs or entrepreneurs talk about hustling, ever wondered why? Well, to begin with, hustle culture is actually toxic. Many of us just love the grind and put in extra hours but as a result, we end up losing out on the other things in our lives and this is worse for women. Having said that, it’s essential to note that women in leadership roles are anti-hustle culture and rightly so. Women have been hustling all their lives and they understand how toxic this is.

What Is Hustle Culture?

Hustle culture is the idea of working ourselves to the point of a breakdown and still continuing. This unhealthy and toxic culture manipulates us all into thinking that working ourselves to death is the only way to succeed in our careers and shuns the idea of work-life balance. People are hailed and turned into heroes for sacrificing their personal time and life to work and are called ‘motivated’ and ‘dedicated’.

Hustle culture promotes allowing your work to dominate and rule your life to the point where you have no personal, family or social life whatsoever. It puts our mental health, physical health, self-care, hobbies etc on the back burner. It blurs the line between our work life and personal life. It makes one believe that the more you work the more valuable you are which in turn makes you indispensable in the cold hard work market where everyone is replaceable. This culture makes us believe that our self-worth is all about how much time we can give to work and what we can sacrifice to grow in our careers.

How Does It Affect Us?

Well, to begin with, it takes a toll on our mental health, family life, personal life and so much more. The way hustle culture glorifies overworking and treats it like a badge of honour, it not only gives people who don’t hustle FOMO but also makes them feel less hard-working and fills them with guilt and shame for not being able to keep up with all the hustlers and valuing work-life balance more. It makes them feel less adequate, less valued and less dedicated which in turn affects their productivity and mental health.

For all the hustlers, the toxic hustle culture tends to build pressure on them to work more and more which often leads to people ignoring their mental health and burying themselves in work. This makes people feel obligated to say yes to anything and everything for the sake of growing at work and prevents them from taking a proper lunch hour, sick leave or a vacation for that matter. And we all know how that is bound to affect our physical health. Allow me to add to that, I am that hustler who ignores her bodily. I’ve had days when I skipped lunch to work and worked on weekends even when all I wanted to do was sleep in. I’ve put in long hours and late nights and avoided taking sick days and leaves and no, that’s nothing to be proud of. If anything this is one of the most unhealthy things to do. Pushing yourself beyond boundaries in a bid to grow only gets worse with time and can lead to burnout or maybe beyond burnout.

Also Read: TikTok Video Shows Woman In Labour Texting Boss From Hospital Bed. This Hustle Work Culture Is So Toxic!

How Can We Counter Hustle Culture? Can Women In Leadership Roles Help?

We’ve all met boss babes and boss ladies but we don’t hear them talking about hustling, do we now? The reason is empathy. Women in leadership positions have to hustle always, forget leadership position, women have to hustle, PERIOD. Ambitious women have to hustle much more than men can ever even imagine. Not only do women hustle at work but they also hustle with work and family. Irrespective of their work hustle women have to make time for their family, and kids and take period leaves because there is no way around this. Moreover, in a patriarchal and misogynistic world like ours, women constantly have to prove themselves, unlike men. We know what it’s like because we have it worse. Men simply have to hustle at work with not a care about their family or kids because they have someone to take care of it all for them but women don’t. So, when women in leadership positions see someone hustling, their instant reaction is to prevent that person from falling into this toxic pattern of working. Women are anti-hustling because empathy helps them see things from a different perspective.

Women may be hustling themselves but they rarely advocate for hustle culture. And in all honesty, hustle culture should essential not be a culture at all. More so because when we turn it into a culture, it becomes more of a compulsion and less of a choice. And to have a choice to hustle or not is important. A toxic working culture like the hustle culture should not be enforced and all the successful people suggesting that hustling is the only way to reach success is not only toxic but also unhealthy. There’s nothing to be proud of if you’re compromising on your personal life and mental health to hustle. The truth is that one can succeed without hustling while maintaining a healthy balance in our work and personal life. And you know who promotes a healthy work-life balance? A woman in a leadership position. And I speak from experience.

Also Read: This Twitter Thread On 7 Types Of Rests To Avoid Burnout Is Everything We Need To Hear. Take Notes For Mental Health, Guys!

I’ve been working for quite a few years now and never has any male boss of mine asked me not to hustle and maintain a healthy work-life balance but at Hauterrfly, I do have a female boss who shoos me away when I try to work on weekends or off days. I have a boss who scolds me for missing work or logging in early after working late the night before. We’ve heard people calling out the hustle culture on social media but not many bring change the way a woman in a leadership position does. Let me repeat myself again – women get it! We know what it’s like to struggle with cutthroat competition and ambition. Another reason is the toxic boss girl, boss babe, boss lady culture that encourages women to not just embrace but perpetuate unhealthy and toxic working habits like lack of work-life balance instead of dismantling and scrutinizing it. Since women hustle all the time, we question this toxic culture instead of perpetuating it.

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Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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