As stated in Shelley Zalis’ Forbes article “Power of the Pack: Women Who Support Women Are MoreSuccessful, “A woman alone has power; collectively we have impact.” Women are the strongest when they band together. In a world where men occupy a majority of leadership positions, women must cultivate networks of other ambitious women who share similar struggles and experiences as them.
The workplace can often be challenging for women; though they possess the same skills and qualities as men, subconscious biases and systemic barriers can limit their opportunities for success. In this atmosphere, women could significantly benefit from a support system of other women that could assist in navigating these challenges.
Research from the HarvardBusiness Review found that “...women who have an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay…” (Zalis). This makes a lot of sense.
Women in positions of power have the authority and influence to help other women achieve the same goals. Though each woman is bound to face her own unique set of challenges, there are certain commonalities among all women in the workplace.
However, this can be diminished if they see these other women as threats to their success. Sadly, this attitude is commonplace.
From a young age, women and girls have been taught to see each other as competitors. As the opportunities available for women are much slimmer than those for men, many women see other women’s accomplishments as an impediment to their own.
An article from theZ-Philosophy attributes this behavior to women’s “...insecurity and an unwillingness to share the recipe for personal success” (The Z Philosophy). This “figure it out on your own” mentality becomes widespread as female leaders become protective of their roles and power, often resulting in a hesitancy to share helpful tips and advice.
That being said, women need to recognize that other women’s success does not take away from their own, but rather enhances it. If we want to lessen the gender gap in leadership, we must change the narrative of competitiveness to collaboration; we must not see other women’s accomplishments as threatening, but rather as empowering; and we must all learn to see the success of one woman as the success of all women.
Possessing a network and support group of women will help all women reach their fullest potentials. Each woman has a unique skill set and perspective to bring to the table and could benefit from collaboration with others.
This network of women can be found in The Women’s Network (TWN). TWN aspires to connect ambitious women and give them the resources they need to succeed in and out of the workplace. Through holding networking workshops and sharing helpful tips, the women in TWN recognize that each women’s success is their success, too.
In a patriarchal world where leadership opportunities are lesser for women, we must recognize the importance of networks such as TWN. When women support women, huge strides can be made; these may not completely erase gender discrimination in the workplace, but they are on the right path to doing so. Women are stronger when they work together and must recognize that their battle is not against other women, but with other women.
TheZPhilosophy. “WomenSupporting Women – What Does That Even Mean?” The Z Philosophy, The ZPhilosophy, 30 Mar. 2021,https://www.thezphilosophy.com/blog/women-supporting-women.
Zalis,Shelley. “Power of the Pack: Women Who Support Women Are More Successful.” Forbes,Forbes Magazine, 7 Mar. 2019,https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleyzalis/2019/03/06/power-of-the-pack-women-who-support-women-are-more-successful/?sh=52e7af81771a.