Despite years of progress, many women are still at a disadvantage from gender inequality in the workplace. Some women still feel held back due to family constraints, feel they have fewer opportunities in business than men and fewer mentors to offer support in the business world. However, this isn’t necessarily true, and by helping each other, there’s no reason why we can’t all get the opportunities we deserve. Some of my most toxic relationships at work have been with women, surprisingly. It doesn’t need to be dog eat dog at work, show solidarity with the sisterhood and you could really reap the benefits.
1. Pay it forward
It doesn’t benefit anyone to keep others down. As a senior woman, support others to benefit from your accumulated knowledge and use your influence to offer opportunities.
2. Inspire women to succeed
Share your story and offer a positive influence for younger women. Be a role model and inspire with tales of your hard-won success.
3. Offer recognition
Let someone know when they’re doing a good job and seek to increase their confidence. A woman is more likely to undersell herself, support colleagues to celebrate their talents.
4. Call out gender inequality
Educate male colleagues about gender based discrimination. Stand up and highlight unfair situations in which different standards are applied to men and women.
5. Allies not rivals
Women don’t need to become enemies to succeed. Although envy, jealousy and rivalry are often rife in the workplace, if women work together and show a united front it makes for a happier and more supportive environment.
One person’s success doesn’t have to mean another person’s failure. More experienced women can offer mentoring whilst less experienced can seek to shadow. Sharing advice and more importantly support in the workplace makes for a more highly skilled and better performing team.
7. Talent seek
Senior women are in a great position to look out for promising young women. It is often hard for young female employees to break into a company so why not seek out a protégé and play your part in nurturing new talent.
8. Stick up for each other
Women in the workplace can show solidarity with each other by sticking up for each other. It can be as simple as not turning away if someone is struggling to defend themselves.
Sometimes colleagues just need an ear or a shoulder to cry on after a tough day. Listening is a powerful and supportive tool. Put judgements aside and just listen.
10. Collaborate instead of competing
Why not pool resources and brainpower and share good ideas? Together we are stronger.
As a woman who has worked in technology I have seen the difference women can make. Collaboration and support on a professional and personal level means we can empower each other as women to succeed and make the future look brighter in business for our daughters, granddaughters and nieces. Women need to recognise the passion, power and potential that other women can bring to the workplace and invite it in with open arms.