The Power of Women Supporting Women
Amanda Loveday • March 18, 2022
Women’s History Month is not just about acknowledging the achievements of women who came before us. It is about making note of the women we surround ourselves with who are making history today.
The days of all women being placed in boxes of just childrearing or homemaking are gone as women themselves continuously burst through each ceiling placed above them. The women we traditionally celebrate throughout Women’s History Month are merely the spark of the modern day woman: one made of strength, grit and passion for building and excelling in all aspects of her life—professionally, personally and more.
An attribute of the female power network that never fails to disappoint, surprise, and most importantly, empower me is the success that spurs from women supporting women.
I have worked nearly my entire career until joining NP Strategy in male dominated industries like journalism and politics and rarely had a female boss. Due to those early years, I typically built relationships with male mentors and never understood the importance of honing in on those female leaders until later in my career.
Madeline Albright might have the most famous quote on this subject but I’ve always liked Gloria Vanderbilt’s take the best, “I always believed that one woman’s success can only help another woman’s success.” I truly believe this.
And men, don’t stop reading now. This dialogue is almost more important for you than it is for the women reading this today.
In my role working with clients at every level of the corporate ladder and managing internal relationships across a female dominated firm, I have to be incredibly cognizant of the behavior around me and the performance I exude. Here are a few tactics I recommend we all consider when working with our team members to build a supportive and cohesive environment in our workplace:
1) Fully commit to the understanding that your colleagues’ achievements can assist in your long-term success. I have personally experienced or watched colleagues worry about the success of a partner or colleague to the detriment of their own efforts. It shouldn’t work that way. You can always learn from your friends, colleagues and family members and being able to see success in action will only help you in achieving your own goals.
2) Don’t just say you support women—put in the work to back it up. There are many instances in which women in leadership preach about their interest in seeing other female leaders, or promote their organization’s efforts in hiring female employees. However, when it comes time to share opportunities or work with other females on their individual success, it turns into a game involving egos and a lack of interest in moving the ball forward on a larger scale. Voicing your commitment to DEI is not enough. Implement support at every step of leadership.
3) Use your time and energy in building up the next generation. I have heard, and admittedly been part of, conversations about the work ethic of the next generation and the differences in what we’ve seen in generations before us. Without teaching and spending time with these young people and displaying the work ethic and professional behaviors we expect, we are effectively setting them up to fail. Help them understand the importance of work-life balance while reminding them the importance of deadlines.
With the ongoing growth of women leaders from Lou Kennedy at Nephron Pharmaceuticals to Vice President Kamala Harris, women are the future of business and politics. We can do the job just like men, if not better, with high heels on and a dinner to cook for two kids and a spouse at home. If we all work together to achieve each other’s successes, our potential is great but our accomplishments will be greater.
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