I encourage all my clients to have women mentors, women mastermind groups, and to read about other successful women.
I even created a series called Interviews with Influential Women to bring you their stories, from many different professional arenas.
Because having role models not only helps lead the way, it also gives you courage that as a woman your perspective will be valued.
Having other women to bounce ideas off allows you be to be open in ways you might not be in a mixed gender group where you are concerned about looking to weak (or feminine). Learning how other women became successful helps you see paths and possibilities, where today you might see obstacles.
In a Fast Company article on why women are leaving corporate life for entrepreneurship they state:
The problem, according to a new report from career management company Right Management, is that many women seeking career advancement don’t have women in their lives who can serve as professional peers and confidantes—”real models” who can empathize with their journeys and provide support.
I love working with men and women because we bring such different gifts to the mix that together the results are always better when many perspectives have influence. Yet, there are times where my concerns and questions are best guided by the wisdom of another woman who has walked a similar path, overcome a comparable obstacle, or in some other way had to juggle life as a woman. This is when my women mentors and mastermind partners are invaluable.
If as women we all know we need this, the obvious question is, “What are you doing to be this for other women?” Regardless of where you are in your own profession, there is always something you can do to provide a leg up for another woman. Here are just a few things you might do.
- With your purchases, look for and support:
- Women starting new businesses by buying their products, referring friends, and writing reviews.
- Women authors by buying their books and writing reviews.
- Use your social media contacts to connect women with other people who can help them; help promote what they are doing by liking their pages, or spreading the word about their business.
- Help another woman see her own gifts.
- Validate each other.
- Offer to mentor a woman in your area of expertise.
- Be a contributing member of a women’s network or mastermind group.
- If you are a supervisor or business owner:
- Hire as many women as men.
- Promote women.
- If you have money, invest in women and their business ideas. Become an angel investor for at least one woman, if not many.
Get creative. Find ways to help another woman. You will be amazed at how much you really have to offer. And you will find your own self-esteem soar by stepping up to the call. Then when you most need it, you will have developed a network of women who have your back and promote you–beyond anything you could do yourself.