It’s human nature to be slightly intimidated by others’ successes. These are feelings of jealousy, inferiority, and insecurity: all normal emotions. However, how one acts on these feelings shows their true moral compass. Women deal with the outcomes of this struggle more than anyone else. When people hear of a man’s success, it is simply expected and celebrated. When people hear of a woman’s success, it is either viewed as extraordinary or pushy. That thin line is drawn so women and men are both taken back by a woman’s accomplishment. This needs to stop.
Women should be building each other up, not tearing each other down. I cannot count how many times in the workplace I have overheard conversations where women are bashing other women for changing their career path. No. The conversation should be how brave the woman is for evaluating her options and making the best choice for herself.
Creating an environment that is supportive of women’s success will create a more productive workplace. Making sure that employees are being recognized for their endeavors will increase employee morale and empathetic leadership styles. Allowing women to succeed and work their way up the corporate ladder will create more diverse opinions in boardrooms, and will create a better work experience for everyone involved.
Here are some tips on how to create a women-power supportive work environment:
- Recognize small successes– If you see someone working hard, make it known. A small “congratulations” or “good job” could go an extremely long way. So many women are afraid of sharing their own successes with others because they fear their success will be held against them. This is absurd. When someone achieves something, it deserves to be recognized. Everyone deserves to be recognized and praised when they go above and beyond. Work on starting small and taking note of large achievements in your network and then move towards recognizing smaller tasks by women around you.
- Create success- If you see a woman who always puts in her best, nominate her for an award or bring attention to her in your next meeting. Encourage her to apply for that promotion that she is qualified for. Tell others to notice the things she is doing. Small tasks that you can do every day can have an amazing impact on someone else’s life. Instead of bringing someone down, make their day.
- Take a break- Another thing that women have to deal with is the fact that they rarely get a break, literally. I know how terribly cranky I am when I have gotten little to no sleep and still get up in the morning to go to work. I never roll my eyes more than on those days. By taking a quick rest, even for just 20 minutes, you could make the workplace culture so much better for not only you, but for people around you. If you are cranky, then your coworkers may blame it on themselves, or possibly even discredit you when you actually mean to scold someone about their work. To do this, take a walk or practice breathing exercises during your lunch break. Getting into a routine of these activities will cause you to become more level-minded when you interact with others at work.
- Advocate- Make sure you advocate in your workplace for zero tolerance of abusive or demeaning talk towards others. If you have the power in your company, create an anti-bullying program for workers to report any instances they may see. This will not only cause workers to be nicer to each other, but will also create a more productive work environment, since they will be spending less time gossiping about others. Also make sure to address the issues of microaggressions. If in a meeting, a man takes credit for a woman’s idea, call it out and make sure the credit is given to the person who produced the idea.
- Show yourself off- Make yourself a role model for women in your office. If you achieve something, do not be afraid to make it known. Show other women that it is okay to be proud of your own achievements and show them off. Also, if you take on this confident new role, then you are more likely to build up other women’s successes since you will never be self-conscious about your own.
Changing our actions can make a difference on our lives and lives of those around us.
It is your turn to make an impact.