Women’s History Month got me thinking and reflecting on the powerhouse women I know who are forging their way forward.
Too often I notice women focusing on what they need to improve without ever appreciating all the good they already have going.
This blog is my battle cry.
Women, let’s do more to recognize, honor, and reinforce all the good we see each other doing. Moreover, let’s use our voices to advocate for one another.
Here are a few of my favorite ways you can use your voice for other women and for ourselves, as well.
When Sheryl Sandberg was approaching the due date of her first child, she turned the uncomfortable reality of no parking at Google into an opportunity to create space for other women. Unable to find parking and in the final weeks of her pregnancy, Sandberg was frustrated about the parking limitations. Instead of staying frustrated, she created an innovative solution reserved, accessible parking for expectant mothers. Expectant mother parking is now clearly reserved, marked, and available nearly everywhere, but it took Sandberg seeing a need and speaking up about it for a solution to be found.
Be Your Own Biggest Fan
When you know it is time for a raise, know you are worth it; be a fan of who you are. Collect the facts, the important parts of your career story and your impact; then, be confident to ask for that raise. When you make the first move, you’d be surprised at the ripple effects on those around you. Remember your worth. Your willingness to advocate for yourself may spur others on to do the same.
Believe in Yourself
Believe in yourself so much that you are not afraid to move on to a better fit; encourage other women to do the same – more often and sooner. Because trust me, when you have it together and you produce and then you leave, they notice that, too. My oldest daughter is the perfect example. Every job she has left has contacted her post departure and offered her the promotion she was denied or the opportunity she requested – and all with the offer of more money. She always left respectfully and never burned bridges. The most important lesson in all this? She respected herself and her skill set far too much to stay anywhere she was not at the level of rank or pay she had earned for her skill set. Bravo, Lauren. You inspire me every damn day.
I know countless women – my badass editor, my rockstar photographer, consultants, and many others – who made their big dreams into reality. Yes, it involves massive risk, but they found bravery in their voice, used it to network and ask for advice and found success on their own. If you’re sitting on an idea or a dream, I encourage you to lean into it. And if you already have, find someone to mentor who needs your voice of encouragement.
This is where our voice can be heard loudest. In any situation I can find, I’m using my voice to encourage and promote other women. It can be as easy as a wardrobe compliment, a shout-out to a woman who had a stellar week at work; or a handwritten letter to your yoga teacher who inspires you. Grab coffee together, and say well done. Look across the table from her and reinforce the greatness, humility and tireless work she’s putting in to accomplish her dreams. It doesn’t have to be complicated; use your voice to lift her up.
There is nothing sexier than strong women standing up for themselves and advocating for one another.
In the words of Maya Angelou let’s not just stand up for ourselves but for ALL women; I share her famous thoughts with one caveat – when we stand up for ourselves, we do, in fact, stand up for ALL women.
Consciously and intentionally look for and seek out any and all opportunities to do so.
That’s my not so sexy truth.