I am a firm believer in the value of lifting women up in business, in your community, and at home. In fact, I just completed an online course on the value of mentors/sponsors for the purpose of women being elevated to their next best level.
While we desire (and need) assistance in the process of advancing our own career, we must also make sure we are doing our part to help others along the way.
In an article sharing the commitments some women have made for lifting women, we find these statements:
I commit to creating the first women’s resource group at my organization!
This is a great idea for those in the corporate environment who have the desire to bring women together at work. This could be a weekly bag lunch where each week you tackle a different challenge or concern as it relates to the work environment. Consider inviting a member of the HR staff to join in as there may be issues that arise that need to be addressed.
Perhaps you can schedule monthly or quarterly evening events and invite a local woman who has already risen to success in your industry. She wouldn’t have to be someone in your company, just a woman willing to share her story and answer the all-important questions of how she rose through the ranks.
If your company doesn’t support the formation of a group, consider finding one locally and inviting your female peers to join you for a meeting or event. When we gather, we share and learn so much more than when we try it alone.
I’ll commit to passing on the advice and guidance I was lucky enough to receive from coaches, bosses, and mentors.
I can’t speak highly enough about the importance and value of having mentors and sponsors who are in your corner, know your value and are helping you advance to the next desired level. In fact, I have an entire category of articles on my website devoted to Mentors and Sponsors.
It is so important to share the knowledge and best practice examples of your own personal journey with others. So often we feel like we are on an island, especially in a male-dominated field, and to hear how others have navigated the waters is invaluable.
None of us ascends in business without help from others. Turn around, reach back and help by lifting women in your organizations and/or industry just like you have been helped.
I will commit to pushing my women teammates to stay motivated in a male-dominated workplace.
Along with lifting women in business, it goes without saying that we need to look around for those women who need a little extra encouragement. As women, we are focused on doing our job, doing it well, above expectations and ensuring that we have offered all of ourselves in the process. We are great at achieving goals for others, but when it comes to raising our hand and putting ourselves out there, we tend to keep our head down.
“I guess what I’m saying is, let’s keep lifting each other up. It’s not lost on me that two of the biggest opportunities I’ve had to break into the next level were given to me by successful women in positions of power.” – Lauren Graham
The other day Joe Biden (I promise this won’t be political) in an interview with CNN was asked about potential running mates. He declined to name names but what he did say was so true. I’m paraphrasing, but he said, “there are many women out there who are more than qualified to be the president who aren’t even running.”
That speaks to this point. We are more than qualified for a promotion, a special project or to sit at the boardroom table, but we fail to put ourselves out there. If there is a woman (women) in your company who would be great for an opening and they aren’t putting their name in a hat, be that voice of encouragement.
We need to help support each other along the way, especially in industries or companies where the male voice is dominant. There are women who have made it to the top and if it is your goal – you can too. Let’s make sure that we help by lifting women in business.