It’s not that we enjoy arguing or being ‘mean girls’ but it’s that we’ve been conditioned to be on the defensive with other women. It seems this mindset has carried over from our childhoods into the workplace. However, staying together as a team who support and be honest with each other brings more joy and success than competing with each other would. It is difficult to unlearn habits and mindsets you’ve been doing for so long. Choosing to be supportive instead of jealous, though, is a good starting point.
Reconcile with yourself, first. We’ve been told for so long that other women are our competition, and we have to outdo each other. Taking the time to do the emotional work to create a new attitude for yourself will greatly benefit you. Remember, when other women become successful, you win too! Also cut yourself some slack and give yourself the time to reflect and continuing working towards to your own goals and success will follow you.
Actively Listen & Empower
When listening to another woman speak, don’t think about how this affects you. This is their moment. Focus on what they’re saying and respond meaningfully, preferably with something outside of “That’s nice”. This creates a sense of engagement and excitement that feels empowering. Those small compliments to someone can be a boost of self-esteem that someone might for the day, or even start her own business. A confident woman is a powerful woman that brings change to herself but more importantly: a confident woman brings changes to her surroundings and society.
Amplify Their Voices and Their Successes
Don’t just congratulate your peers in private, help them gain recognition outside too! Instead of saying, “I know a guy”, think “let me connect you with a woman”. When a female colleague raises a valid point– that is being dismissed– during a meeting, you could show solidarity by bringing attention back to her. Another example could be bringing up a colleague’s success to your management. Supporting your fellow female colleagues in their success aids with your success too. You should encourage people around you when they do an excellent job, not privately to do others around them as well.
Live Both Your Truths
As women, we already have such a rigid set of standards to abide by. Passing judgement onto someone who is asking for your support may not be the best way to build their confidence. Even if it doesn’t exactly match your lifestyle, it’s important to remember that it brings them joy. If you support each other’s goals and ambitions, then competing for the same goals, you would live a joyful life as a strong and independent woman.