In honor of International Women’s Day, I want to take a moment and talk about how we as women can support each other, try any or all of these fun and positive ways to get going!
1. Assume the best!
Take a few minutes to ponder up the best values and virtues you want the women in your life to have, then make it an active practice to assume that these are the reasons other women behave the way they do. It is likely true anyway. Friend starting her own business? It’s because she’s smart and ambitious! Coworker getting a promotion? It’s because she wants to be a great leader! Sister taking a break from her job to travel? She is practicing good self-care! Assuming the best inwardly will begin to make positive vibes flow and start to inform all of your interactions with other women.
2. Ditch negative judgments about other women whenever you can.
Society and mass media would have us believe that catty is the way to go, but that type of interaction has never served to further the female cause of equality. When you catch yourself thinking something not-so-savory about a sister, try to think of something different about the person that is positive. When you catch yourself starting to gossip, change the subject and talk about a woman you really admire rather than one you can’t stand.
3. Hype other women up!
When you see someone killing it on social media, in their business, at the gym, or at work, tell them. Out loud, right then! If you aren’t an extrovert, you can also quietly send an email to their boss mentioning their accomplishments, repost their blog to your story, or send them a congrats card. There needs to be more conversation about women’s accomplishments in a range of industries. Start with what you know and like and amp up what you think is particularly noteworthy.
4. Remember that physicality, looks, and fashion can be super fun but do not define us.
Praise women of all sizes for who they are first. The more we focus on other women’s personalities, intelligence, character, and accomplishments, the more the rest of the world will be forced to take a look, too. It will also be a boost to your own self-esteem each time you give a compliment to someone’s integrity or book smarts because you will be reminded of the importance of the complexity of a woman.
5. No need to hate men to love women.
Of course, women still have a-ways to go to gain equality, but focusing on the negative just drags you down and tends to detract from the cause of helping and supporting one another. The idea of feminism itself is that men and women are all the same, so even if you have experienced sexism on a personal level, don’t level that resentment at every guy you see. This one is really to support yourself, as forgiveness is incredibly healing.
6. Be a mentor to younger women, or connect women you know would be wonderful friends with each other.
Grow the spirit of supporting others by actively showing the next generation that you are here for them. Some companies have mentorship programs, or you can join a mastermind group like Girl Boss to help others in a similar industry or to find yourself a mentor if you are in need of some guidance from a sage woman.
Check out some of the following resources for severaldifferent aspects of womanhood:
- How Women Rise, by Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith (professional advice for women)
- A Tribe Called Bliss, by Lori Harder (a step-by-step guide to building your own mastermind group)
- https://leanin.org/together/women Resources for connecting and interacting as powerful women, there are also resources here for allies/men.