Wondrous tales of Women supporting Women -Why women are more powerful when they work together.-.
Networking, collaboration and mentoring are proven to lead to great success in the workplace. In 2021 women are increasingly eschewing underhand tactics and toxic rivalry. Investing in and empowering the people who surround you are strategies most likely to fast track women to positions of power and influence.
The huge increase in women’s networking opportunities and private members club for women, such as Allbright based in Maddox Street, Mayfair are at the forefront of this trend. Founded by Debbie Wosskow and Anna Jones in 2018, Allbright’s mission is to provide a space for brilliant and smart-minded women to connect, create and collaborate.
The founders had personal experience of the incredibly low number of women in top business roles. They truly believe though that ‘sisterhood works’ and have curated an environment that supports and incentivises women to reach their career potential and thrive.
Many women from a variety of sectors report that a female colleague is often the first to see potential. Perhaps she sees something -a skill or talent that you had not considered relevant or useful in your industry. Others may be well placed to guide you towards a more positive or productive pathway, helping develop your career and grow on a personal level too.
Having a cheerleader challenges self-doubt, wards off imposter syndrome and keeps the habit setting of impossibly high standards in check.
An experienced teacher explained how she benefitted from the support of a colleague as she progressed her career in senior leadership in education.
“I was Head of English and making applications for Assistant Head, my then line-manager (a female deputy head) took time to mentor me through the process. She boosted my confidence, made me believe I had ‘what it takes’, gave me her own personal statement and application to read and coached me towards success! I wish I had been able to work with her longer...”
Another senior lawyer recalled that her previous boss acted as a wonderful mentor and was always giving advice on career progress. Being a mother of four children herself, she understood the pressures and the importance of balancing time with family alongside career goals.
Sometimes though a seemingly simple gesture of few minutes of support can facilitate a woman and enable her to build a sustainable career.
A former Royal Mail employee explained how the kindness of a female friend in her neighbourhood enabled her to take a position delivering post on a local round. She rose before 4am to start at 4:30am (Her husband was able to care for the children until he left for work at 7am). Then the children’s Grandma came to care for the children through to 8am when she herself would have to leave for work. Care was then given by the local friend (who despite many offers, declined any payment). This selfless lady would walk the children to school for 8:50am often passing and waving to their mother on her round! It was less than an hour’s care but without it, it would have been impossible to take the job. Being able to take on employment while her children were still young allowed swift progression through the organisation and led to a career with Royal Mail lasting over 21 years.
Finding small ways to assist other women creates a virtuous circle of success. Given confidence, support, validation, empowerment and accountability, women, -no matter their background or sector- can foster positive relationships which helps them thrive and succeed in the workplace.
As Amelia Earhart (aviation pioneer) wrote;
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees.”