Why Connection Between Women Matters
Business is a dog-eat-dog world. Toughen up. Don’t take it personally.
Heard these expressions before? Yeah. We thought so.
It’s true that business can be cutthroat at times. And yes, it certainly takes strength to succeed. But historically speaking, strength in business has been associated with masculinity. We have always thought of businessmen to be direct, assertive and powerful, whereas feminine qualities in business have long gone unrecognized, or even looked down upon. Women in business have always been portrayed as catty, jealous and manipulative - especially with other women - which has left us all feeling confused, lonely, and unsupported.
Additionally, so many women are feeling isolated in their home offices, desperate for real connection. But with only Instagram as their channel to the world, rather than connection, they are flooded with comparison and competition. So, what can we do about all of this? We need to start looking out for each other. We need to tap into our feminine qualities - empathy, intuition, collaboration - and use them to our advantage.
Because the truth is, business is not all about power; strong connections and good relationships also help your career grow and thrive, and that’s something that women can bring to the table.
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others succeed.”
- Napolean Hill -
The cool thing about women is that we benefit from collaboration over competition, and when we channel the power of collaboration, incredible things can happen. When we come together to work through business dilemmas and share ideas, we get shit done, and we get it done well, all while propelling each other forward. Another woman's success doesn’t rob you of anything. In fact, it’s quite the opposite; we all rise together.
Can we also recognize the fact that it’s way more fun?! Collaboration means more face-to-face interaction, which gives us the space to foster friendships. What starts as a conversation about business, morphs into a conversation about the best local yoga studios or the best resource to learn about Facebook ads. We feel like we can finally relax around other women and have fun fully expressing ourselves, which makes us feel safe and supported - like we belong.
Make Connections that Count
Do you ever go to a networking event because you feel like you “should,” only to exchange a few business cards, shake a few hands and move on with your day? Maybe you hear from those people again, maybe you don’t… But the point is, it’s a surface level interaction. And when we treat it that way, networking is just another to-do list item.
It’s time we shift the focus from networking to truly connecting and building meaningful relationships. Go to networking events, have your business cards in hand, but be ready to actually get to know the other women in the room. We encourage you to develop a go-to ice breaker question that sparks a lively, light-hearted conversation. Listen to what they have to say, speak from your heart, and maybe even discover common interests. Set the precedent that you want to get to know them, learn from them, and help them succeed.
Now, we’re not saying that you’re going to walk out of that room with five new best friends (although, maybe!) This process takes time. It takes multiple interactions and a whole lot of effort (It’s all about the follow up!) But it’s so worth it.
Find Your Inner Circle
A recent study from the Harvard Business Review shows that “women who have an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay, while there was no link found for the success of men in terms of the gender composition of their inner circles.”
This is some pretty profound information. Women can help each other rise to the top and/or get the pay they deserve - or pay themselves what they deserve! Sometimes as women we think, I don’t meet all the requirements for that job, so I’m not even going to try. Or, we carry around self-limiting beliefs like, “there’s too much competition” or “I can’t raise my prices.” These beliefs keep us from moving forward in our work and growing our businesses.
This is where your inner circle comes in. They can help you overcome self-limiting beliefs, face business challenges and opportunities with more confidence, and achieve the healthy work-life balance you’re looking for. Your inner circle is there to say “Girl. You’re wildly capable of landing that job!” and “Hell YES you should still go for it!” (And if they’re not saying that, find a new circle!) The support and encouragement your inner circle can give you is invaluable. It can be the difference between getting the pay you think you deserve vs getting the pay you actually deserve. Y’all - that can be literally be a $10,000/year difference! When you show someone that you think she has value, you can transform her life.
Here at Women& Inc, we have created a space that is ripe for connection, collaboration, and relationship building. And we do it over whiskey or wine because we love nothing more than combining a fun night out with connection to other women, and education about our favorite drinks.
It is our mission to help you find women that can offer you advice because they’ve been there. To find women that can hear you and help you. To find women that need you and your experience and expertise. Ladies, don’t wait for the women’s march. This is an every damn day kind of thing.