April 24, 2018

5 Reasons Why Women Need to Support Women


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A week ago, I had the pleasure of attending the first style collective conference.  Along with 45 other #bossbabes from around the country, joined Annie Spano, founder of Style Collective, for a two-day program of workshops, panels, and networking and trolley fun in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Saturday morning began with an opening from Annie and she dived right into the true meaning of empowerment.    Based on the dictionary definition, the power, the right or authority to do something, I realized that this was the place I needed to be to jumpstart my blog and be reinvigorated.  I am able to make change, and I have the right to as well as all of the other women in the room and all the women around the world!  

This conference happened at just the right time for me.  I took a step away from the blog back in February because I was having an awful time at my full time job.  I was being personally targeted and bullied by a coworker.  The worse part is, the female CFO stood behind him and did nothing to empower me or any of the other women I worked with.  I suffered for the past few years and struggled to get through each day at work.  I returned from maternity leave and the CFO brought someone in over me when I thought they were there to assist me.  She only hired (white) males in the upper level management positions and never even had a discussion with me regarding my work or my abilities.  Her hires were known to be rude and condescending to other women and this was never addressed.  The CFO thought it was funny.  On one particular occasion, she presented me with a project last minute with an unreasonable timeline and expected to me to stay until it was finished.  I made the mistake and stayed at work until midnight to complete this while my one year old daughter was home getting ready for bed without me.  I made the mistake of not standing up for myself and will not let that happen again.  My family life was of no concern to her but when the coworker who bullied me had a baby, she allowed him to work from home to care for his baby while the women of the company are forced to take unpaid leave!  This is just one of the many injustices I faced while working there.  It was unfortunate to be around such a successful woman who did not promote or advocate for women herself.  It was made so obvious to me that others felt this way when we had an office lunch after finishing a busy quarter.  The accounting group I worked with consisted on mainly women and not one chose to sit at the table she was at for this lunch.  She even chose to surround herself around the men she managed as to show them who's boss.  There are sad and scary things that are coming out that have happened to women and when other woman don't support each other, we are unable to progress.  Fortunately for me, I have removed myself from that environment!  It was the best decision I made in a long time.  I deserve to be around women who will support other women and I want to share more of my story so other women don't feel they have to be stuck in an unhealthy environment as well.  

While in Raleigh, I met so many women who are just that!  They support each other and want to see one another succeed.  Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and I look forward to watching everyone’s  journey.  Through this conference, I learned what my power is, to share my experiences in the corporate world as a working mom and hope that others will be inspired or learn from them.  To begin,  I've pinpointed five reasons why women need to support women.  There are definitely more than 5 and we could talk all day about this but here are the ones I would like to start out with now:

1.  It is not a competition and there is enough success to go around.   Luckily, I have been an office environment where women did support others so I have seen it and know it is possible.  The sky is the limit and we can all succeed at what we do without worrying about the other person.  Women who empower others are succeeding in life by being there for others.  Title and wealth are not the only aspects of being successful.  

2.  One woman's success is inspiration for another.  We as women can lift others up.  Being a mentor or even a peer can encourage others to be their very best.  I have gained a great group of girlfriends here in New York who drive one another and continuously support each other.  They are always pushing to achieve more in their career and this gives each of us the momentum and spirit to do the same.  

3.  Women must empower each other, the more we encourage others, the more support and encouragement we receive in return.  In addition to my girlfriends in New York, I have a solid group of girlfriends I grew up with that are still there for me today.  We may not speak on a daily basis but when we do, it is like no time has passed and when I am going through a rough patch, they are there to support and encourage me.  They remind me of all that I am capable of and give me that extra strength I need.  In turn, I make sure to always be there for them as well!  The more you do, the more you receive!

4.  Together, women can accomplish amazing things.  Simply because we are amazing.  In addition, I have always stood behind the idea that no one person can do more than a group.  When we come together, the possibilities are endless.   

5.  Standing up for other women in the workplace can change the environment.  Being a working mom, this is important to me.  After being in an office where this didn't happen, I know I will want to make sure this doesn't happen in the future.  We as women have to help other women voice their thoughts and their ideas.  We need to encourage to speak up in meetings and not let anyone interrupt us.  We can make these changes now so that our daughters experiences in the workplace and our daughters' daughters  experiences will be in a much better place.

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