I have images of the show, Madmen in my mind. Women in their gorgeous outfits, glamorous hair and makeup, styled to perfection as pretty accessories in a man’s business world. I loved the show but am glad for our generation and the ones to follow, that this is no longer the case. Women now play a vital role in the workforce but the boys club still exists and we need to be smart, collaborate and create our own support groups to be better together.
The gender equality debate still has a way to go in Australia but we can look to the Scandinavian countries as great examples of what we can strive to achieve at a political and government level. Using this as inspiration, I suggest we focus on the ‘women supporting women’ movement.
“New research in the Harvard Business Review finds that while both men and women benefit from having a network of well-connected peers across different groups, women who also have an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay, while there was no link found for the success of men in terms of the gender composition of their inner circles.” Power of the Pack, Shelley Zalis Mar 6, 2019,
If you have read the book, Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg, you’ll understand the power of supporting your sisters. Become part of a like minded community of women such as Business Chicks, Women in Focus or the cheekily named LMBDW (Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine), or simply help out someone within your office. You know first hand that the support, strength and learnings of other women can take you further than you can get on your own. Most women are starting to understand the benefits of these networks and they are growing in size and popularity. I strongly believe it is better working together than doing it alone, and by supporting another woman you get a sense of community, support plus you are more likely to succeed.
As a mum of 3 young boys I can definitely vouch for this. The juggle of being a working mum and owner of a startup business, Happetite FoodI definitely have my tough days, but I am really lucky to have an amazingly supportive group of women around me. From the great mums at school who I share drops offs, play dates and pick ups when one of us is running late, to the support and encouragement of my mentor (Thanks you Leona Watson @ Cheeky Food Group), and more recently to the amazing group of like minded women that are part of the Women’s Business School program. These women support me personally, professionally and socially and I am very grateful to have them.
On a tough day at work it is so refreshing to know you have the support of a friend to vent to. When you are struggling with a challenge in your workplace or with your own business, to have a network of women that understand your challenges and can help you through it without judgment is priceless. These challenges are part of our everyday lives and can seem overwhelming and daunting when dealing with on our own but as a combination of brains (or the brains trust as I call it), they can be worked through and resolved much more easily.
Look around you – you are surrounded by amazing women. If we all changed our mindset away from the competitive environment of being better than the person next to us and focused on supporting and helping each other grow and succeed, we could take our work, home and personal lives to a whole new level, and even enjoy a laugh and couple of glasses of bubbles along the way!
The truth is, that by raising each other up and collaborating rather than competing, we can make some amazing changes. Bring on more events and communities that support women supporting women in all aspects of our lives.