There is a special place in heaven for women who support women – this is a famous saying that I believe should be echoed throughout every female dorm across the globe.
The more women support each other, the more they can achieve and break the gender inequalities that they face.
Prior to Covid-19, and the sudden lockdown of the world, we all lived on a fast paced, driven and sometimes ruthless planet. Everyone was striving for their own goals and achievement’s even if this meant they had to step over someone else’s to get there.
We really had little time to support or encourage anyone else.
This can be the stark reality for many women who see other women as competition or envy their mere existence.
This is not a new trend but something that has been around since the days of Adam and Eve.
Seth Meyers wrote in an article in Psychology Today “Girls are so much crueller to each other than men.” He concluded this from 15 years of clinical work with women who represented every possible demographic variable. He was quoted in saying – “I can confidently report that the women I’ve worked with report more critical views of other women than the men do with their own male peers.”
Further confirming this view that women find it so difficult to support other women comes from research from Benenson and colleagues (2011) where women’s approach competition was studied. According to the finding’s, women may be more sensitive than men to social exclusion, and when they feel threatened by the prospect of being left out, a woman’s first response may be to socially exclude a third party.
So, harnessing a strong belief in ourselves can help us women, overcome our insecurities against other women. When we are happy and feel we have succeeded we will be less judgmental to other women.
So how can we support other women and in turn help ourselves to feel good, and more importantly, benefit:
Amplify other Women – We can start by amplifying other women. We live in a world where social media tracks our every mood our every success and failure so why not tweet, post, share or repost the success of a female follower or friend… not only allowing us to gain to gain confidence in ourselves but making another woman feel that little bit more appreciated.
Support Women – Covid-19 has bought us closer, even when we were further apart, through the power of social media, video conferencing and community giving. So many women either volunteer or work within the charity sector, or have started a new enterprise or entered into the cottage industry – so why not buy that box of homemade brownies from your next door neighbour’s sister or donate to a local women led charity or use your skills to benefit your community. Sisterhood will never die, sometimes, it just needs to be revived.
Women network – open that network to help your fellow female comrade, we all know someone who knows someone, so why not connect the dots and push open that door to help a sister progress.
Personally, I find nothing more satisfying than to help another woman. It’s the reason I founded Rising Girl, a charity that helps empower young women through education, so they have the skills, knowledge and confidence to follow their dreams.
Many a time, I have had women DM me who need help and advice, or women who need to be connected to organisation’s so that they can find a safe space to rebuild their live. Sometimes, it’s just about buying a cup of coffee for a woman who is down on her luck and giving her a few words of encouragement.
When I made the film, Rising Girl, I found that when I spent just a small amount of time mentoring young women, it changed the prospects of their life for the better. This is something I continuously strive to do, whenever the opportunity arises.
The biggest and most obvious benefit to women supporting women, is friendship. This, I think, is fundamental to any human being truly happy, and for a woman it can be an essential part of being mentally healthy.