Connect with us


Women: We Need To Keep Lifting Each Other Up, Especially At Work. Here’s How


women lifting up

Women need to realize that unless we advocate for each other, meaningful progress won’t be made.

For too long, women in the workplace have been stuck in secondary, often administrative roles, explicitly excluded from leadership positions. But now, for the first time ever, a meaningful percentage of us are being given the chance to reach the leadership positions we’ve long been qualified for. 

One way we’ve made this happen as women is by lifting each other up––supporting each other in actualizing our potential and reaching success. Personally, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and inspiration of other women––from those I’ve known personally, to those who’ve simply lent me inspiration via their stories of grit, expertise, and perseverance: Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeye’s; Indra Nooyi, who sits on the board of Pepsi; etc. 

In order to further this upward ascent, however––and don’t get me wrong, we have a long way to go––we must continue supporting each other. The problem is, this is more challenging than we think. Because so many workplaces remain so heavily male-dominated, it’s tempting for women to focus myopically on our own careers and our own interests, to fall into the trap of competing with other women and keeping to ourselves instead of working together. 

But we can’t let ourselves fall into this trap. We can’t allow ourselves to feel threatened by each other. We all have our own strengths. We should focus on honing our own abilities, sure, but we should also celebrate each other, and use our own talents––and the unique opportunities they present––to help those around us realize their own potential. 

Here are some ways we can do that. 

1) Celebrate each other’s gifts.

Women in the workplace were for a long time diminished by those in power––told we were less capable and inherently less able to lead. 

One critical tool we have at our disposal in lifting each other up today, subsequently, is celebrating any and all of the numerous instances when one of us does something to dispel this stubborn myth. 

What does that look like? It’s simple. When a colleague at your company does something great, recognize them for it––celebrate it. It bolsters their confidence and reminds them that they’re just as talented, skilled, and intelligent as their male peers––and have unique abilities that other people don’t have. This has several important effects. It does this job of increasing confidence, but it also slowly chips away at the pressures many of us feel on account of the competition trap to do the opposite: keep each other down. 

The truth is, we’re on the same team. It’s hard to be an advocate for our team, though, if you yourself are not confident in your own abilities––or, worse, distrustful of your teammates.  

2) Host small groups or luncheons for women specifically to talk about issues we’re facing or ways we can get support. 

To feel like you’re alone is debilitating. Community, on the other hand, is empowering. 

Thus, in your office or in your community, to elevate yourself and the women around you, try hosting small events where you can all get together and discuss the issues you’re facing. You can also use this time to discuss means of eradicating the inequality or sexism you face. And, finally, you can be even more proactive and use this time to bring in workshop leaders or experts to help you all start acquiring certain skills you may need to move up in your industry. 

This is something I’ve been doing in the various communities I’ve been a part of for a long time. From networking events to weekly luncheons, and from workshops to happy hours, this sort of face-to-face interaction is critical––again, if for nothing else than to reinforce the truth that none of us are in this alone. 

3) Give each other official recognition when possible. 

Finally, everything I’ve been talking about thus far is even more important to internalize for women already in leadership positions. It’s your responsibility to use your power to help those around you realize their potential. 

This is something I’ve internalized personally, at the church for which I’m a co-pastor and in the company I run each day. Women leaders have a unique opportunity not just to celebrate our peers, but to also tangibly provide them with new recognition and responsibility. If you identify a woman in your organization who is obviously talented and who is doing great work, work with them by way of company-wide recognition or even an official promotion to truly elevate them. 

If they are interested in taking on more––inspired to do more––this will not only change their lives, but also perhaps prove beneficial for your entire company or team. 

Women need to realize that unless we advocate for each other, meaningful progress won’t be made.

At the end of the day, we can only get so far alone. In the workplace, the genders are still very much unequal. There are many inspiring and benevolent male advocates out there, but the problem is systemic. We will only ever break that glass ceiling if we do a better job of working together and advocating for each other. Day-in, day-out.  

Here are a few other related articles you might find helpful:

Why It’s So Important To Develop Female Leaders Within Your Organization—And How To Start Doing It

The 4 Challenges Parents Face When Re-Entering The Workforce—And How To Tackle Them Head-On

Here’s How I Promoted Gender Equality At My Company––And Why It Worked

Top 10

Copyright © 2019