Are you supporting other women at work?
We can all do more to help support each other. And we SHOULD do more! First, because it’s the right thing to do; and second, because women need sponsorship and support in the workplace. Research shows that having a sponsor or sponsors at work directly impacts future professional success. Check out this study by Catalyst; it shows that sponsors—people who will advocate for you—can make a critical difference. The study also shows that despite great advancement, women statistically still lag behind equally-qualified men at work.
If we want to see women grow professionally, we need to use the gifts that God has given us to help and support other women.
My friend Mary Ann is a super talented business woman and real estate broker. (She’s amazing! In fact, Crain’s just named her one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York.) A few years ago, Mary Ann saw a need in her industry- she kept encountering bright young professional women and kept thinking, “these women should know each other!” So Mary Ann did something about it! She invited about a dozen women to lunch one day. Since then, the lunches have become regular, and Mary Ann also mentors each of the women personally.
How can you support other women in your workplace or industry? It’s not too early (or too late) to start thinking about this!
If you’re further along in your career or if you’ve even reached the C-suite, consider directly sponsoring younger women who are just starting out. If you’re more in the “just starting out” category or somewhere in between, you can make a difference too! Build a support network from the bottom up.
Take a new employee under your wing (anyone “newer” than you counts!) and help them settle in. Organize a monthly lunch or happy hour for women in your office, building, or industry. Not only is this a nice thing to do for others, but it’s also likely to increase your own job satisfaction. Plus, if you build connections with other professional women now, you can support each other as you all develop professionally.