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What Women Can Do To Bust The Myth That We Don’t Support Each Other

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
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Women Support

There’s a common stereotype that women don’t support other women, but it’s just not true. In reality, women do help each other, and we go further faster when we do.

In reality, women do help each other, and we go further faster when we do.

A huge number of women are already doing this, and all women can and should. Here are four things you can do today – and every day – to support the women you work with (and scroll down to the bottom of this post for all of our tips for supporting women and girls):

(1) Introduce women like it matters – because it does. People tend to overestimate men’s accomplishments and underestimate women’s. As a result, women need to work harder to get noticed and prove we’re capable. One way to combat this is to highlight women’s credentials and accomplishments when you introduce them. Instead of defaulting to “Katie works in marketing,” opt for an intro with gravitas like, “Katie was in charge of our biggest public awareness campaign of the year, and we blew past our goals” A good introduction can go a long way toward elevating a woman’s status.

(2) Use your proverbial pom-poms. Sadly, women are more prone to intense self-doubt than men, and it is not because we’re missing some elusive confidence gene.Women face more challenges in the workplace and a steeper path to leadership.Although there’s no quick fix for wavering confidence, your words of encouragement can go a long way. Don’t underestimate the benefits of a telling a female team-member she writes beautifully or makes your job easier because she’s so good at hers

Although there’s no quick fix for wavering confidence, your words of encouragement can go a long way.

(3) Don’t let women undermine themselves. It starts when we’re young. Girls often use verbal crutches like beginning a statement with a disclaimer (“I’m not sure this is a good idea but…”) or using upspeak so statements sound like questions. A surprising number of women still fall into these traps, and too often women sit at the edges of the room in meetings, away from high-status seats. Speak confidently, and encourage other women to do the same—it’s not just what we say that matters; it’s how we say it, too. And when you see a woman heading for the edge of the room, offer her the seat next to yours (you, of course, will be sitting front-and-center).

(4) Celebrate women’s accomplishments, and make sure the boss hears. Women tend to get less credit for our achievements and face pushback when we toot our own horns. But we can celebrate each other’s accomplishments loudly and proudly. Even better, we can form a posse at work and look for opportunities to promote each other’s successes. It’s not just a nice thing to do; it’s a smart thing to do. When you speak up for other women, your status often goes up, too. (Note to Sheryl: the Lean In partnerships and web teams are killing it!)

Women can celebrate each other’s accomplishments loudly and proudly.

 

One Response

  1. * Make it your default setting to point out to a sister how great a she looks rather than reaching for the easy and cheap unflattering comments

    * Defend a sister’s honour, come to her defence in her absence

    * Point out to a sister any potential embarrassing attributes you see on her in a sensitive way: eg lippy on her teeth, underwear showing, too much foundation, etc

    You must be authentic yourself and be genuine in your intentions!

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