Happy International Women’s Day! What a wonderful holiday and a chance to recognise incredible women in our lives 🥰 With this occasion in mind, I wanted to share some thoughts on how women can support and empower other women – because it’s a beautiful thing to do and together we are so much stronger!
Now, if you don’t identify as a woman, but still want to support them – I will write a separate blog post on how you can do that. Thank you for being a wonderful human and empowering fellow humans!
I want this post to be super actionable, so let’s get to it:
1. Don’t judge other women
We, as humans, have a tendency to judge and categorise people based on their appearance or actions. It makes sense: the world becomes more digestible when we use these stereotypes as shortcuts and make snap judgements.
However, by judging other women we distance ourselves from them and their choices. We contrast our traits that are socially acceptable to their “unacceptable” behaviour – almost implying that it’s either one or the other. Even if it’s not our intention, we create further stereotypes about what a woman should be, do or look like.
We are multidimensional creatures with so much to offer. Our skills and personality traits aren’t binary – in fact, we all have our own spectrums. We are all sisters, we should all support each other and rise up together. The best way to start? Let’s stop judging each other and accept all of our different career, lifestyle, appearance, sexual – and all of the other choices we make!
We all have biases, so it’s not going to be an overnight thing. However, next time you catch yourself judging a woman for anything, acknowledge that judgement (without judging yourself for it) and take a step back from it. Try to see this woman for the multidimensional creature that she is and have an open mind about her actions. She is just like you in terms of trying to figure out this whole life thing and you might have much more in common than you might think.
I truly believe that if we try to practice this on a regular basis, we will be so much stronger and feel more empowered to be who we truly are – not being afraid of what others may say. What an empowering thought!
2. Collaborate instead of competing
In my experience, women often see each other as competitors in various contexts: from work and career opportunities to male attention. We tend to see limited opportunities for females in field X and compete for them – at least, that has been my experience.
I think we should all leave that limiting perspective behind and approach this from a place of abundance: endless opportunities for all humans. And instead of identifying competitors, we should find women who we can collaborate with – and lift up everyone’s level.
So next time you see a woman in your field (be it professionally, socially or in any other way), take your time to get to know her and see how you can help each other! Collaborate to create more opportunities for each other 🙂
Listening to someone can be incredibly powerful – for both you and the other person. We live in a pretty chaotic world where we can feel rushed, alone and misunderstood, so feeling like you’re really being heard by another human who is present with you is a great feeling.
Active listening is a wonderful skill and there are a ton of resources out there in case you’d like to improve your skills! And next time you speak to a woman, make sure that you are present and really listen to her.
4. Build deep connections
Building strong relationships is incredibly empowering – for all parties involved. Not only do you feel understood and supported, but these kinds of connections can also blossom into life-long friendships. It’s the best way to approach networking.
I don’t like the word “networking”, to be honest, because it implies work and associates with dread in my mind. I think it should be rebranded into “connection building” – because that should be the goal! We are all multidimensional creatures and can find something to connect on – and build lasting, beautiful relationships.
Next time you talk to a woman, try to go beyond the small talk and understand this person – what are her dreams, goals and aspirations in life? What lights her up and makes her wake up in the morning?
5. Build your tribe
There’s nothing more empowering than having a group of cheerleaders, who believe in you, give you their honest feedback and advice and keep you accountable. Building a circle of women like that around you will not only help you – but also help them!
Think of it as peer-mentoring or peer-masterminds, where everyone brings different opinions and experience to the table. Beautiful, right? Think of what you can learn from your best friends and start building a trusting tribe of strong women who help each other grow!
6. Recognise everyone’s achievements
Recognising other women and their achievements is incredibly empowering for everyone. It makes the woman who is being celebrated feel proud of herself and gives her a boost of motivation. It also inspires others to strive to be like her, to be their best and achieve awesome things. Finally, it positions you as an emotionally intelligent leader, who helps others get the recognition they deserve.
How can this be done? From nominating for awards in professional context to simply telling someone that they’ve done a great job or giving them the credit they deserve. Depending on the context, there are so many different formal and informal ways to do that!
I’m super passionate about uplifting and inspiring the community and that’s why I’ve created Women in Tech Weekly – a weekly newsletter to recognise women and celebrate their awesome achievements. It’s incredibly inspiring to see what these women all over the world are up to and how they are breaking stereotypes every day.
7. Give honest and actionable feedback
Nothing beats a 3rd opinion and advice from personal experience! So, of course, this is one of the ways in which we can support other women.
Ask if the woman is willing to receive some feedback and advice – and if she is, share it! Obviously, make sure that you don’t simply criticize, point out what she is doing great and recognise her achievements. Some sources recommend giving a feedback sandwich or a burger – with 2 positive buns surrounding the meaty, actionable feedback on what can be improved.
Giving feedback is an art that we can all get better at! I’m planning to create more content around it, so stay tuned 🙂
8. Share opportunities
If an opportunity comes up that another woman could be perfect for, share it! Again, this goes back to the abundance mentality and believing that these opportunities are unlimited. Because if you believe they are, they will be.
The benefits of practising this include raising up the level of women around you – and making them happy. It also makes other women do the same – and you never know, one of them might bring you that life-changing opportunity you’ve been looking for!
9. Become a mentor
Whether a peer-mentor or a mentor to someone less experienced, this is a great way to give back and share your wisdom. And the best part about that? You get out so much from mentoring yourself, including learning more about yourself.
Think about how you can start mentoring – either in a formal or an informal context. There are so many organisations that will welcome you with open arms, or you can find someone to mentor yourself!
10. Donate to a cause
This is an obvious one, but we often don’t do the most obvious things. There are a ton of charities and organisations helping women get a higher quality of life and education – all over the world. Find the one that resonates with you the most and donate your time, money or other resources to help support someone else out there.
11. Be a role model
And finally, be a role model yourself! Share your story and make sure your voice is heard. You have no idea how many women will relate to your story and get inspired by your journey.
I truly believe that representation is a huge part of improving diversity in any field – and your story/background/experience is unique. There’s only one of you and there are definitely many girls and women out there who will get inspired by you.
Which ones are you already doing and what are you going to start? What else would you add to this list? Give me all of your thoughts 🥰