The other day I was reading discussion topics on a large professional women’s networking platform. Someone posted the question, “Why aren’t women supporting women at work?” I admit that this question make me cringe because I’m tired of those stories. They perpetuate a myth about the majority women which harms how we perceive each other, undermining our trust in one another. That is a product of patriarchy’s influence on society. Divide and conquer.
The discussion began slowly, but grew organically as more women added their own experiences to either being betrayed by other women at work or how to rise above it if it occurs.
Someone recalled being backstabbed in the 1990’s and how she had to struggle harder to maintain her position in a male dominated industry. A few others also added that women in their office were the last to support their work. I wondered how many received impactful support by their male colleagues and leaders.
However, I was relieved to read a majority of positive comments from supportive women. Women are working under a system which educates us to believe that to get ahead; we must accept scarcity of opportunities. When we operate with the ideology that there will never be enough for all of us, and that we should be grateful for crumbs falling from the table, we put our energy and focus in the wrong place. Let’s not get distracted from the real questions; where are the women at the table? We need to focus on getting us there, and think like a large, global team. When one woman scores a win, we all do! When one woman pushes through a barrier, our team moves forward. When one woman shatters an institutionalized barrier somewhere in the world, we should all celebrate because it affects women’s equality and can be a catalyst for further advances elsewhere.
I see a tipping point emerging for women today. In growing numbers women are coming together in groups to elevate and support each other. We must share our desire to connect with each other globally to confirm to all women that we are interested in uniting. It’s happening everywhere! We are pushing back and demanding changes around the world, let’s connect all of the dots! As we grow in influence over storytelling in the media, politics, and law, we will write the real stories of women, not myths created to keep us out.
And as we create our own strong, positive messages, it demonstrates unity rooted in equality. We don’t have to agree on everything, we are a very diverse group. Half of the world’s population must be! But if we agree that women should have the same opportunities and rights as men- economically, politically and legally, then that creates a powerful momentum! Momentum is needed to tilt the tipping point, let’s keep pushing together!