Ah, the sisterhood…Do you have a pussy hat? Check!
Are you supportive of broad initiatives to help women? Check!
Did you sign up for the workplace women’s mentorship scheme? Check!
Now, I am not saying that these aren’t good things to do, but if we want big changes to happen, it is imperative to support each other as women on a broader scale and raise our profiles as leaders at work and in the community.
I often hear about the need for women’s shortlists or the fact that boards just can’t find enough qualified women to help serve. We know this is not the case – there are loads of successful women out there with wonderful abilities. The real question is “how
can we help make the view that ‘there just aren’t enough qualified women’ a thing of the past?” Here are some of my thoughts on how women can help each other raise our profiles and take our place as leaders.
Submit another woman for an award
Thesedays, raising your profile is almost a national sport. In the past, it might have been enough to be well known in your company but today you need to ensure that you are building your brand. I won a ‘Women in Banking” award through WeAreTheCity in 2015. Today that is still the first thing people see when they search for my name online. I would encourage you to look for some awards and nominate friends and colleagues. You might even also want to nominate yourself or ask a friend to nominate you.
Even if you just make the shortlist, you have still moved the needle.
Help a woman get a contract at your place of work
If you’ve ever started a new business, you know how hard it is to get clients. We can support each other by ensuring that we help each other’s businesses and careers at the same time. A few years ago I had a big project and was able to recommend another woman – a great graphic designer – for a contract at work. Another friend was starting a team development coaching program and I brought her in to do a low-cost coaching session for my team. It was a big hit. In both cases, it helped that they were able to work with a big bank as a client and boost their brand.
Recommend a woman for a job or opportunity
Many jobs are not posted online but given to people who have connections. It is easy to feel annoyed about the guy who gets ahead because he played golf with the boss but are you working to make changes? Once a month, go through your company job board to see if there are openings that you could share with your network. When you hear about a job posting do you think “I am not interested” and then move on? What would happen if you went out to your network and shared the opportunity with other women? Altruism is good and we can do more to pay it backwards, forward and sideways.
Taking steps to get ahead in work and business is easy when we work together. These are just a few ideas for moving from the “me” to “we” mentality. By building out an ecosystem of women who are supporting each other, we can move things forward for all of us.
About the author
Joy Adams is a blogger and one of WATCs 2015 Rising Stars. She is a British-American businesswoman who has worked in both the public and private sectors in the US and UK. Joy currently serves on the Advisory Board for Vital Voices Europe, an organization dedicated to supporting and developing women leaders. She also writes a lifestyle blog for budding philanthropists and art collectors at Luxeher.com.
The Workher blog is all about taking your work life to the next level with practical tips and details on the latest news about pay, progression, and opportunities.