Women have historically been forced to be competitive with one another as we have jostled to secure the scarce “female” places in the business world.
This is not our natural way.
We are collaborative players who thrive when we support and work together and in fact we are now seeing in study after study that women who support each other are more successful in business.
So how can we do more of it ?
Network like a woman
There is power in relationships and women are excellent at creating connections with other women. We are natural networkers but may have discounted this strength as we thought real networking was the male version which was all about “working” connections to advance or get something, as opposed to our natural way of building relationships and trust and creating natural opportunities for collaboration and common success.
Let’s get back to our way of naturally uncovering common ground, creating the like and trust factors and nurturing our connections because we know the value of networking in not in the “Wham Bam here I am, what can you do for me” method but in the “I want to get to know you and your business better and I want you to get to know me and my business better so we can both work together to support each other”.
Elevate other women
This is based on the Shine Theory advanced by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman which is predicated on the statement “I don’t shine if you don’t shine”.
The Shine Theory is about helping another woman shine because when we are able to do that, we all shine.
This means being vocal in pointing out other women’s successes in the workplace and in the business world. Thereby building their visibility and confidence.
Women are notoriously bad in pointing out our own successes, let’s stop that by taking up the baton for someone else and making it commonplace for women to be recognised.
Give testimonials for female led businesses that you have used and had a good experience using. Don’t assume everyone already knows how great the business it. Make it your mission to make sure it gets out there.
Be generous in praising other women’s efforts in all areas you can. Women see so many things we do as commonplace and not worthy of recognition, change that by being the one to point out how far beyond expectations someone has gone.
While all of this may seem a little contrived and likely to be all about getting attention off yourself, it’s not.
It’s all about no longer doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome, but doing something differently and creating a newer better result.
Invest in other women
Whether you are in a position of authority or still working your way up, there is someone behind you on the ladder who could use a boost up. Offer mentoring or coaching and get involved in furthering the careers of women behind you.
It’s when we are willing to step outside the old paradigm of everyone for themselves that we start to see some more positive changes in women’s advancement in the workplace.
And in the wider community, choose to support women led businesses by investing in them or by shopping their products and services.
Where we spend our money, is a real vote for what we want to see more of in the world.
And we all want to see a more equitable and diverse community where everyone has an equal chance of success.
When women support each other incredible things happen!