Support for Working Women Starts With You

4w_mon_300x300_070813Are 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.  A growing body of research shows that having a sponsor or sponsors at work directly impacts future professional success.  Check out this study by Catalyst; or my sponsorship article in Leader to Leader for more on how it can make a critical difference.

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 named her one of 2011’s 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.


What are you doing (or could you be doing) to help other women at work?